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ANGA chief calls for gigabit policy

Thomas Braun, President, ANGA Association of German Cable Operators, has called on German politicians to adopt a policy supporting gigabit speed networks.

In at opening address an ANGA COM in Cologne, Braun noted that German cable operators were already deploying networks of 400 Mbps, and that with optical fibre, this became a gigabit infrastructure very quickly. Noting that federal elections were upcoming in Germany, he said “we need a policy that focuses on gigabit networks,”, although he warned against too much political interference, which he described as “counter-productive”.

“We need space for innovation,” he declared, further warning against regulation that would work to the detriment of industry and help global online players over whom German regulators currently exercised no authority. “We cannot wait for Brussels,” he added.

During the subsequent Opening Discussion featuring the CEOs of a range of network, platform and broadcaster representatives, Niek Jan van Damme, Management Board Member at Deutsche Telekom, noted that copper-based technologies continued to be useful, with a number of developments, and admitted that gigabit speeds would be required. “How it is going to be delivred is what we do not yet know,” he admitted. “We can’t rely on 5G which might only be available in 2022.”

Ronny Verheslt, CEO of cable MSO Tele Columbus, suggested that Germany was lagging behind from an investment point of view, driven by political decisions from the past. However, he warned that “customers won’t look at politicians to help us,” adding that he didn’t need any government assistance.

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