In its 2018 coalition agreement, the German government clearly committed itself to expanding gigabit networks in Germany by 2025. At the same time, the Code defined the rules at European level under which the path to a gigabit society is ought to be successful.
The present study, dares to look forward to a gigabit world 2025+ in which comprehensive fibre-optic infrastructures exist and a "steady state" has thus been achieved from an economic point of view. The migration from copper to fibre, which takes center stage in the current regulatory debate is therefore finished. By means of different scenarios characterized by varying degrees of infrastructure and service competition the effects of the individual scenarios for competitive and non-competitive framework conditions are investigated. Furthermore, we examine which conclusions can be drawn from the experiences in those countries which already have virtually nationwide fibre optic infrastructures.
One important finding is that intensive infrastructure competition is not a necessary prerequisite for the far-reaching digital transformation of the economy and society that we consider to be desirable. At the same time, we see in all scenarios the possibility of significantly reducing the scope and complexity of the existing market regulation, since it is either no longer necessary at all or its relevance is limited to become a possible threat in the event of abusive behaviour.
While a sustainable deregulation seems necessary with regard to competition regulation, non-competitive aspects such as security of supply, data security and data integration as well as consumer protection are gaining in importance in line with the increasing relevance of digital applications for economic and social life.
The study, which WIK carried out as a grant project for the BMWi, is only available in German.