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Indicator 9.1.b: Rollout of broadband

SDG-17.6.1

Selection

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This overview includes additional information on the indicators presented above, such as a brief definition of the indicator and a description of the politically determined target value, as well as the political intention for selecting the indicator.

Definition of indicators (Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy)

The indicator shows the development of broadband availability for households in Germany in terms of the technology installed, with separate figures for gigabit connections (≥ 1,000 Mbps) using fully fibre-optic networks (FTTB/H), cable television (CATV) and other types of wired technology.

Target and intention of the German Government (Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy)

The nationwide roll-out of gigabit networks by 2025 is one of the German Government’s key objectives. In addition to enhancing international competitiveness, the expansion of broadband availability with gigabit speeds is intended to facilitate the convergence of living standards across Germany. To achieve these aims, the predominantly private sector roll-out is to be supported by public funding schemes in unprofitable areas.

Data state

The data published in the indicator report 2021 is as of 31.12.2020. The data shown on the DNS-Online-Platform is updated regularly, so that more current data may be available online than published in the indicator report 2021.

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Last modification of code (text) 2021-09-09: see changes on GitHub opens in a new window

Taken from the official translation of the German Sustainable Development Strategy

The indicator measures the availability of broadband to households in Germany at downstream speeds of at least 1,000 Mbps, or one gigabit per second, using wired technology – fibre optics (FTTB/H) and cable television (CATV). The figures are collated on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure and published on the Government’s Broadband Atlas.

As of the middle of 2020, fully fibre-optic internet connections (FTTB/H) capable of more than 1,000 Mbps were available in 13.8% of households in Germany. Between 2015 and 2020, the availability of 1,000 Mbps FTTB/H broadband rose by 7.1 percentage points. In other words, it more than doubled, increasing by +105.9%. From the end of 2018 to the middle of 2020, the proportion of households with equally rapid connections using CATV grew from 23.7 to 50.2%. This is also more than double, equating to a +111.8% increase. Altogether, 55.9% of households had gigabit-capable connections available as of mid-2020.

Within the country, availability can be seen to vary depending on the region. For all technologies, the provision of gigabit broadband is concentrated particularly in urban areas, where some 74.6% of households had gigabit-speed internet access as of 2020. That figure is markedly lower for areas of a rural character, at 16.7% in 2020. To consider the distribution of the different technologies, 70.7% of urban and 7.8% of rural households had gigabit connections via CATV in mid-2020, while gigabit-capable fibre broadband was available to 17.6% of households in urban areas and 8.9% of those in rural areas. Rural locations are thus predominantly supplied with gigabit speeds via fibre-optic networks, while urban areas rely more on CATV.

Differences in availability between urban and more rural areas are also discernible among the Länder. Of all the Länder that are not city states, Schleswig-Holstein has the highest level of gigabit-speed provision using any technology in 2020, at 74.0% of all households, followed by North Rhine-Westphalia on 62.0%. At the other end of the scale, 12% of households in Saxony-Anhalt can say the same, with Brandenburg the next-lowest at 22.1%. In contrast, provision of gigabit-speed broadband is markedly higher than 90% in the three city states, Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg.

Various sources are used to calculate these data. Alongside the digital landscape model produced by the Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy and OpenStreetMap, more than 500 telecommunications companies in Germany are surveyed about their current provision. To preserve the companies’ business and trade secrets, the resultant data are aggregated into a grid of 250-metre by 250-metre cells and grouped according to seven classes of broadband. Although full-fibre networks with speeds of over 1,000 Mbps have been included in observations since the end of 2015, that class has only been studied in detail since the end of 2018 in light of the latest technological advances.

Methodologically, it should be noted that the telecom companies provide their data on broadband availability on a voluntary basis, as there is no legal framework. Furthermore, the figures for availability refer to the technology that telecom companies have installed, as opposed to the actually usable broadband capacity in the area. Additional information on broadband measurement can be found in the annual report of the Bundesnetzagentur, Germany’s federal networks agency.

This summary table illustrates the evaluations of the indicator by status of previous years. This shows whether the weather symbol for an indicator has been stable or rather volatile in the past years. (Evaluations from the indicator report 2021)

Indicator

9.1.b Roll-out of broadband – share of households with access to gigabit broadband services

Target

Universal gigabit network Roll-out by 2025

Evaluation

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 Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure

Organisation

Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure