Could High-Speed Internet be the Glue that Holds German Coalition Talks Together?

By Stephen Fuchs on Email @StephenWFuchs

After a rocky election in September, re-elected German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party find themselves looking for a coalition to continue running the government, seeing as no single party received a majority share of the public vote, and while previous partner, the Social Democratic Party (SPD), removed itself as an option, talks with the only viable candidates left, the Greens and Free Democrats (FDP), haven’t been all that successful. The three parties have some key differences in opinion as to how Germany should be governed, but despite all the setbacks, there appears to be one thing that they’ve been able to produce as a potential cornerstone… leading the country in high-speed internet connectivity.

The news came after Monday’s meetings, where the three groups focused on digital issues, education and research to form a modernization agenda and boost the country’s competitiveness in the digital world.

“The focus is, of course, on expanding a fiber-optic network, but also on rolling out 5G technology,” CDU general secretary Peter Tauber said following the group’s talks. “Particularly important for rural areas, we must close the existing radio gaps in the coming years.”

Finding a way to fund this modernization is of course the more debatable part of the proposal, but Nicola Beer, general secretary for the FDP, believes the country could do it by selling off Germany’s stake in Deutsche Telekom and they appear to have the support of the Green Party for such a deal. With the proper funds, the FDP doesn’t see why Germany can’t position itself as Europe’s largest economy with nationwide gigabit fiber connectivity by 2025.

Sources: Bloomberg

Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

Stephen Fuchs
Stephen founded German Pulse and LGBT Germany out of a passion to introduce Americans to a Germany that goes beyond beer and polka (although with enough beer he has been known to polka it up a bit). He's a coffee addict, lover of wine and good times, a hit in the kitchen and editor of TV commercials. You can follow him on Twitter (@StephenWFuchs) to find out a lot more.
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