These German cities have the best fibre optic internet coverage

These German cities have the best fibre optic internet coverage

Everybody wants fast internet - especially with so many of us working from home (or just bingeing Netflix) at the moment. But, as anyone who’s ever hooked up a device to a broadband network in Germany knows, internet speeds in the federal republic tend to be very hit or miss. So where in the country are you safest from stuttering connections? 

No German city has universal fibre optic coverage

If you’re looking for speedy internet connections, fibre optic cables are the way to go. However, Germany’s approach to updating its DSL-heavy broadband infrastructure has been nothing short of sluggish.

Most recently, the government announced as part of its coronavirus stimulus package that it would cut red tape and further develop fibre optic funding - a move that many are calling “long overdue". Indeed, in no single city in Germany is fibre optic internet universally available. Even in some of the largest cities in Germany, there is no coverage at all. 

This is the finding of a recent survey of fibre optic coverage in Germany, undertaken by price comparison site Verivox. Their study compared FTTB (Fibre to the Building) and FTTH (Fiber to the Home) coverage in the 20 largest German cities.

Cologne has the best coverage in Germany

Overall, Verivox found that Cologne comes out on top, with a supply rate of 80 percent. The only other cities that came close were Munich (75 percent) and Hamburg (72 percent). According to Jens-Uwe Theumer, Vice President of Telecommunications at Verivox, this comparatively high rate of availability is thanks to the actions of local network operators in these cities. 

Elsewhere, fibre optic supply barely exceeds double digits. In fourth place is Hanover with a coverage rate of 19 percent, followed by Dresden on 11 percent. In Germany’s capital city, Berlin, the coverage rate is just five percent. A number of large cities in North Rhine-Westphalia, including Dortmund, Bochum, Münster, Düsseldorf and Essen, all also fall short of the five percent mark. In Wuppertal, the coverage rate is zero. 

Theumer explains that densely populated regions like these are often quite well supplied with cable or VDSL networks: “In particular, major network providers are temporarily investing in these technologies, the speeds of which are still sufficient for most customers. The 5G expansion is also pending. That is why the cost-intensive glass fibre is often given less priority” he said. 

The German cities with the best fibre optic networks

This is how all 20 cities compared on their fibre optic coverage rates:

  • 1. Cologne (80 percent fibre optic coverage)
  • 2. Munich (75 percent)
  • 3. Hamburg (72 percent)
  • 4. Hanover (19 percent)
  • 5. Dresden (11 percent)
  • 6. Leipzig (7 percent)
  • 7. Bonn (7 percent)
  • 8. Berlin (5 percent)
  • 9. Dortmund (5 percent)
  • 10. Bochum (4 percent)
  • 11. Münster (4 percent)
  • 12. Düsseldorf (3 percent)
  • 13. Bielefeld (3 percent)
  • 14. Essen (2 percent)
  • 15. Stuttgart (2 percent)
  • 16. Bremen (1 percent)
  • 17. Frankfurt (1 percent)
  • 18. Nuremberg (1 percent)
  • 19. Duisburg (1 percent)
  • 20. Wuppertal (0 percent)

You can find the full report on the Verivox website (in German)



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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