The government is aiming to supply all citizens with access to broadband internet by the end of 2018, an ambitious goal it’s backed with €4 billion ($4.27 billion) in funding.
But former state-owned telecoms group Deutsche Telekom, the government’s biggest ally in the planned expansion, doesn’t seem to be acting in taxpayers’ interests.
The government still has a 32 percent stake in the company and Deutsche Telekom has promised to provide 80 percent of households with faster internet by the end of next year. The company already controls 40 percent of the country’s broadband market.
But so far, Deutsche Telekom has only supplied 7 percent of households with internet that’s faster than the 50 MB/s minimum set by the government.
In a European comparison, Germany’s internet speed at an average of 13.7 megabits per second still lags behind that of many other countries.
Now, rivals and government officials say Deutsche Telekom is cherry-picking in how and where expands broadband in rural areas where it is harder and more expensive to provide faster internet.