German government highlights cable’s role in meeting broadband goals

German parliamentary state secretary in the Federal ministry of economics and technology Hans-Joachim Otto used his keynote at the ANGA Cable congress in Cologne yesterday to set out the country’s broadband objectives and highlighted the role cable operators could play.

Otto said that a basic service of at least 1Mbps downstream should be available countrywide by the end of this year, with a range of technologies including satellite used to reach remote areas. However, this is seen as only a first step, and Otto said the government had a target of reaching three quarters of households with 50Mbps, with cable playing a major role in achieving that. He pointed out that Baden-Wurttemberg had already achieved this objective.

Otto emphasised that the current government was keen to promote competition, relying on the commercial sector for the most part to achieve its goals. “We want as much competition as possible with cooperation if necessary and state action only if it’s possible no other way,” he said. He said that while there was intensive competition between cable operators and fixed-line telecom providers, it was open to cable to form partnerships with wireless network providers to extend the reach of their networks. “I would like to encourage the industry to cooperate with wireless providers to enable cable operators to reach the last percentage of households,” he said.