Pressemitteilungen

08.12.2004

Germany Lagging Behind in Fast Internet Access

New EU Figures Confirm: Competitive Situation Worse Only in Poland and Cyprus

Germany holds last place in broadband competition among the 15 existing EU Member States (EU 15). If the new Member States (EU 25) are included, Germany is third from last, followed only by Poland and Cyprus. In terms of the penetration rate for broadband services, Germany fell behind Estonia to rank last, as compared with all important EU countries. These are the results set forth by the EU’s 10th Implementation Report covering the European telecommunications markets.

“Germany not only gets low grades in the PISA study [i.e., the OECD study that criticizes Germany’s school system] compared with other countries. The new EU figures on the telecommunicationss markets demonstrate that Germany has not done its homework, particularly in the area of providing fast Internet access. We have missed the chance to provide all [German] citizens with broadband access through sound competition in the areas technology and infrastructure,” states Jürgen Grützner, managing director of the VATM.

From the beginning, the VATM had warned against relying on a single technology and providing the incumbents through dumping prices with an unfair advantage that others cannot catch up with. This unilateral support of the former monopolist has failed to put Germany in a pole position and has missed the political goal to make Germany an attractive place for broadband investments.

A policy that is directed to the future and that promotes competition must take into account the support of alternative technologies. It must not exclusively rely on the resale of DSL products by the dominating market player. Only then will innovative competition flourish that is crucial in order for Germany to become a place that welcomes investments.

The EU states explicitly that the gap between prices and costs in the access market must be closed, otherwise the dominant position of a sole company in the telecommunications market, namely the incumbent, will be reinforced. “A significant price cut for unbundled local loops is thus as important as a speedy decision by the regulator to enable bitstream access – the last mile to the high-speed Internet – the lack of which is also criticized by the EU,“ states Jürgen Grützner. “Bitstream access enables broadband applications throughout the entire territory [of Germany], allowing cutting-edge telecommuting, video conferencing in real time and much more.”

See also: Facts & Figures

Kontakt

Corinna Keim
Leiterin Kommunikation und Presse
Tel.: +49 221 376 77-23
E-Mail: ck(at)vatm.de