ZVEI calls for fair competition when expanding the gigabit infrastructure
06.09.2023 - According to a ZVEI spokesman, the federal government's gigabit strategy has flaws and there are unequal competitive conditions.
The federal government's gigabit strategy should be the booster for broadband expansion in Germany. After a year and a half, the electrical and digital association ZVEI takes stock: The turbo in broadband expansion has still not been ignited, and the draft law recently presented by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Affairs (BMDV) to accelerate the expansion of telecommunications networks will not change that. “The draft contains good approaches with a view to simplifying and accelerating approval procedures. Basically, however, far too little attention is paid to the fact that there can be no extensive progress in digitization without broadband expansion. For this, it would be urgently necessary for the draft law to certify that broadband expansion, analogous to the expansion of renewable energies, is of “overriding public interest”. Without such a clear commitment to broadband expansion, the draft puts the horse before the horse. Because the energy transition can only succeed with the help of digitization," complains Sarah Bäumchen, member of the management board of the electrical and digital association ZVEI.
The manufacturers, who are helping to drive the expansion of the gigabit infrastructure in Germany with their products, warn that the broadband expansion is negatively influenced by inferior quality of the materials. "The federal government's gigabit strategy expressly addresses the fact that quality and sustainability are of great importance for the expansion of the communications infrastructure. However, this can only be guaranteed through the use of high-quality, future-proof components,” emphasizes Bäumchen. This is exactly where the crux lies: “Our member companies are concerned that competing non-European export products sometimes save on quality and do not always meet the technical requirements and standards. Market surveillance is urgently required,” warns Bäumchen and calls for the authorities to be provided with additional staff accordingly. The quality and sustainability of the components should be the focus, especially in public tenders, and the costs should not be the sole criterion in the award. “Germany still has the companies that manufacture components for setting up the gigabit infrastructure here in the country. This resilience factor for the location must not be jeopardized under any circumstances," says Bäumchen.