Pressure mounts on German internet providers to fill signal dead zones
Volker Wissing, Germany’s digital affairs minister, has given internet providers an ultimatum to fill mobile connection dead zones across the country - hurry up or face government-imposed sanctions.
Wissing lambasts German internet providers
Volker Wissing, the minister of digital affairs and transportation, has demanded that internet providers in Germany pull their socks up when it comes to filling so-called “Funklöcher” (mobile internet dead zones) across the country. According to data from the ministry, around 3 percent of Germany has no 4G access and 21 percent no 5G access for mobile phones.
Speaking in the Bundestag, Wissing announced, “In cases where network operators are responsible, legal possibilities should be made use of to sanction delays that are the fault of the operators.”
These sanctions would be imposed by the Ministry of Digital Affairs and Transport if internet providers were proven to not be offering indiscriminate connections across the country. According to a report by the ministry, none of the three main telecommunications providers in Germany, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone or Telefónica, are meeting the government's requirements to fill connection dead zones.
Germany’s telecommunications companies shirk responsibility
In the same speech, the minister announced that Germany would not meet all of its 2022 telecommunications goals. As minister of digital affairs, a territory which is famously not Germany’s strong suit, Wissing is determined for the country to up its game.
In response to Wissing’s comments, a spokesperson representing Telekom came to the defence of the international company, claiming that lists of the areas where there are connection dead zones were not available until the end of 2021. Companies were not able to fit new communications masts throughout 2022 because site applications take an average of 15 to 19 months to be processed. Vodafone insists that the mast-building process can even take up to 30 months.