Premium Grids Require Premium Pipe Systems
Expert Interview on Broadband with Dr. Stephan Albers, Managing Director Bundesverband Breitbandkommunikation e.V. The interview was conducted by Dr. Nina Strumann (Departement Corporate Communications). This article was recently published in our egeNews.
Covid 19 and the lockdown have demonstrated to all of us just how vital powerful data networks are. Does Covid 19 from your point of view provide new arguments in favor of expanding the fibre-optic network or for “homes activated” respectively (households making contracts to this end)?
The pandemic has made many people understand how important being equipped with an efficient infrastructure is. Whether it is about home office or video calls with your family — without a fast internet connection, all of this is hardly possible. This is something which both our private and business customers have come to see. Demand has been increasing significantly: More and more customers have come to show interest in a fibre-optic connection, and more and more of our preexisting customers have come to inquire about higher bandwidths — a fact which is demonstrated impressively by our Market Analysis 20 (see infographic #1).
infographic 1: Demand for a Fast Internet during the Covid 19 Pandemic
Since the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic, more users have opted in favor of faster internet connections and keep inquiring about increasing their bandwidths.
49% of network operators have been actively approached by their customer base about an internet connection providing more bandwidth since the beginning of the Covid 19 pandemic. Fibre to the home office: both work and private activities are increasingly taking place at home.
43% of network operators have noticed an increased demand for faster internet connections among new customers since the beginning of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Regardless of billions of state subsidies pumped into it, broadband expansion in Germany continues to lag far behind the original objectives. Where does the German Federal Broadband Association (BREKO) see the biggest hurdles?
In Germany, many parties involved kept placing their bet on copper for too long. In the meantime, however, the expansion has gained a new momentum. The so-called fibre-optic quota, that is, the share of fibreoptic connections on the fixed-line market, has been increasing steadily, and more and more investors are becoming involved. What is difficult about the subject, in addition to a lack of construction and planning capacities, are the approval procedures in Germany. In short: less bureaucracy, more fibre-optics! (see Infographic # 2)
Civil engineering capacities are generally regarded as a limiting factor related to achieving the expansion goals in Germany. Which kinds of measures will be required from the point of BREKO in order to improve the situation?
Civil engineering capacities continue to be a bottleneck. This is something which BREKO identified and which, via the creation of its civil engineering exchange platform, has led it to develop a tool which brings network operators and civil engineering staff together who have never cooperated before (www.tiefbauboerse.de). At the same time, training and educating specialists in the field of planning and construction are an important issue which is proactively being monitored by BREKO.
infographic 2: Subsidies granted in the context of the Federal Broadband Promotion Programme
So far, only EUR 500 million of the funds committed to this purpose have been contracted, with the rest still waiting to be “sunk into the ground”.
The issue of cooperation with Deutsche Telekom over the course of network expansion is becoming increasingly in vogue. How does BREKO feel about this topic?
Cooperations can help to advance the optic- fibre expansion quite a bit. A good example clarifying this point is Glasfaser Nordwest, where EWE and Deutsche Telekom are pooling their strengths for the purpose of expanding fibre-optic networks together. Such cooperations are a good way to speed up the expansion and to avoid any economically absurd double expansion. Speaking of cooperations: In Emsdetten and Münster, too, fibre-optic expansion is now performed via cooperations — which is forward-looking!
And let me add one more point: To ensure fibre-optic expansion, you also need strong partners such as egeplast because premium networks need premium pipe systems!
“Whether it is about home office or video calls with your family–without a fast internet, all of that is hardly possible. Cooperations are a good way to speed up the expansion. The expansion of the fibre-optic network will require strong partners such as egeplast.”
Pipe systems for telecommunications from egeplast
This interview reveals how important broadband expansion is in Germany. Strong partners must be found to implement large-scale infrastructure projects. With innovative technologies and the use of PE plastic pipe systems, egeplast offers the perfect protection for the broadband cables of our future.
Would you like to learn more about the different variants of our cable protection pipes?