Digital meeting in Meseberg: Germany faces huge challenges in mobile communications expansion – News


Andreas Scheuer (2nd from the right), Federal Minister for Transport and Digital Infrastructure, at the government meeting in Meseberg: "A complete supply of mobile radio is overdue.". Photo: Monika Skolimowska / dpa central image / dpa Photo: dpa

Too slow, too many «white spots», not internationally competitive. The criticism of the digital infrastructure is long. Is the Federal Government finally meeting the enormous demand?

Meseberg – At the federal, state and local levels, an immense effort is needed in the expansion of the mobile network over the next few years. It's all about closing dead spots in the countryside.

They have long been regarded as a nuisance – and an obstacle to economic development. To close the holes, the government wants to provide more than a billion euros for new mobile masts.

The industry association Bitkom warned on Sunday – immediately before the so-called digital exam of the Federal Cabinet – more speed in digitization in Germany. "In the coalition agreement, the word" digital "is 297 times, but Germany still falls behind in international digital comparison," said association president Achim Berg. Numerous new digital commissions of the government are preparing recommendations "that are capable of further decoupling Germany from international developments and reducing it to the analogous island state".

The parliamentary managing director of the FDP parliamentary group, Marco Buschmann, told the German press agency: "Union and SPD reveal our country with the ridicule of the portable radio." Dead spots continued to be part of everyday life.

The Cabinet came together in the afternoon under the direction of Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) in the guest house of the Federal Government in Meseberg in Brandenburg for a closed meeting to deal with the digital transformation. The round wants to develop a comprehensive strategy, such as the fast mobile "white spots" can be closed, especially in places that have no government support in the long term, no perspective for a connection to the mobile network. Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) had presented key points for a strategy.

On Monday, the ministers will meet in the guesthouse north of Berlin for a regular Cabinet meeting. Actually, the ministerial round then also wanted to pass a bill to cancel the coal. But because it contained regulations on the distance of wind turbines to housing estates are highly controversial, the decision was postponed.

Scheuer said of Saturday's mobile strategy: "A full supply of mobile is overdue, and despite the supply requirements and contractual obligations, we have around 5,000 white spots, because the expansion is simply not economical, but still necessary."

Scheuers State Secretary Steffen Bilger (CDU) announced the provision of more than one billion euros. "We are now providing the required 1.1 billion euros through the Special Fund Digital Infrastructure until 2024 to close almost all dead spots in Germany," he told the "Stuttgarter Zeitung" and the "Stuttgarter Nachrichten".

Billions in proceeds from the 5G mobile auction have flowed into the fund. In addition, the government wants to set up a mobile infrastructure company to support the expansion and, if necessary, to award contracts themselves.

In addition to a strategy for the expansion of mobile communications, the exam should also be about setting up a digital administration and a project for a European data infrastructure as an alternative to the services of American Internet giants.

Deputy President of the Union Council, Ulrich Lange, said: "In addition to fiber-optic support, it is now for the first time in organizational and financial terms that mobile phone support has been approached to a similar extent at the federal level." For this purpose, a mobile infrastructure company is being established just for the expansion in uneconomic areas in rural areas, which should also support the municipalities.

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