German Chancellor Discusses Broadband Expansion with Industry Leaders
Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, met with managers from the telecoms sector to discuss the strategy for expanding the country's broadband infrastructure, according to local media.
Among the participants are chief executives of Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone Germany, and Kabel Deutschland, and besides the goals of the strategy the topics include also frequency licensing, local-loop unbundling (LLU) tariffs, and other regulatory issues. The government is to introduce the national broadband strategy on 18 February, with earlier comments having that it will aim at bringing the whole country under the coverage by the end of 2010.
Significance: The German government has thus far promised 186 million euro (US$238 million) for extending the broadband infrastructure in areas of low population density, and besides DSL operators also the cable sector's players—Kabel Deutschland in particular, being the largest—are interested in tapping into the handouts. Further economic viability for rural broadband could be achieved for instance through deployment partnerships—and related benefits of scale—similar to those which are currently being tested by Deutsche Telekom and alternative carriers on the VDSL front. We expect Germany to also utilise wireless technologies by granting more WiMAX licences and freeing up the 900-MHz band for data services (i.e. UMTS900).
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