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In a latest development, Germany plans to set up a fund worth 10 billion euros ($11 billion) to foster investment in faster internet connections in rural areas by 2025. Officials are, however, concerned that a failure to capitalize on the latest digital developments will leave Germany’s industrial base exposed to new competitors in the United States and Asia.
Europe’s biggest economy owes much of its exporting prowess to its small and mid-sized manufacturers. These are often family-owned firms located outside of major towns and cities where progress has been slower on internet-era technology.
The government wants to have broadband connections across the whole country by 2018. Moreover, Berlin now wants to push ahead with plans for even faster fibre optic networks that allow speeds of one gigabit per second which would be twenty times faster than regular broadband.
To achieve this goal, the government would set up the 10 billion euro fund to spur investment in such fast internet networks in rural areas. The fund should partly be financed from auctioning revenues of UMTS mobile phone frequencies.
Overall, the Germany-wide expansion of fibre-optic internet connections would cost up to 100 billion euros.