Meta-study and key points on the sustainable expansion of gigabit networks © Photo Credit: Ezio Gutzemberg/

Meta-study and key points on the sustainable expansion of gigabit networks

Modern telecommunications networks and IT infrastructures play a key role in the context of energy and environmental policy challenges. They play a pivotal role in a sustainable and innovative economic system. This study is a building block for fulfilling the Federal Government's Gigabit strategy and summarizes the key scientific findings on the issue.

The Federal Government's gigabit strategy aims to develop recommendations for action to further strengthen the sustainable expansion of gigabit networks. The infrastructures should not only support the achievement of the climate goals of other sectors, but also actively contribute to global sustainability and climate goals as well as to European and national requirements.

This meta-study focuses on infrastructures that are set up, operated and disposed of on the provider side for data transmission and processing. An excursus deals with end devices that are required by users for data-based applications and, despite predominantly external production, account for a significant share of energy and resource consumption.

Based on the meta-study, recommendations for action for an even more ecologically sustainable expansion and operation of networks will be developed in consultation with users, network operators and manufacturers. The aim is to supplement general requirements for network expansion and thus contribute to making the infrastructures under consideration even more sustainable.

The basis for the recommendations for action to be developed is a key points paper. The key points formulated by the authors of the meta-study form the basis for the further consultation process with the relevant stakeholders. They serve to structure the further dialogue on the way to final recommendations for action by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport and are derived from the following elements:

  • the findings of the “meta study on the sustainable expansion of gigabit networks”,
  • the (individual) interviews with involved stakeholders and
  • the stakeholder workshop on September 5, 2023 in Berlin.

The further process initially provides for the opportunity to comment on the key points in writing. Comments must be sent to the following email address by January 17, 2024:


After evaluating the statements, the next step is to hold another stakeholder workshop or another suitable format for interactive exchange with the relevant stakeholders.

The aim is to finalize recommendations for action for sustainable gigabit network expansion by the second quarter of 2024 at the latest.