Germany’s Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is making available funds to bring fast Internet to underserved areas. Municipalities and rural districts (Landkreise) can initially apply for up to EUR 50,000 to plan expansion projects and to complete applications for federal funding of these projects. Approved projects will be funded up to a maximum of EUR 15 million.
The federal projects aim to offer Internet connections of at least 50 Mbps.
The federal government has reserved EUR 2 billion, to which the states in total will add another 600 million. The programme will fund between 50 to 70 percent of costs.
For approved projects, the funds are intended to be used either to get commercial Internet service providers to extend their networks, or to build infrastructure that can then be leased to operators. BMVI requires projects to be ‘technology neutral’.
“We’re inviting all municipalities and districts to use this federal funding program, to make sure that by 2018 there are no more white spots on the map”, Minister Alexander Dobrindt is quoted as saying in a BMVI press statement.
“The quality of infrastructure is a key locational factor for Germany's industry”, BMVI explains on its Digital Infrastructure website. “It also strengthens the basis for innovation and creative ideas and promotes a modern information society. The digital infrastructure that we are developing is fast, efficient and accessible from everywhere.”