Sending e-mails, streaming videos and researching information - it is hard to imagine life without the internet. At Deutsche Telekom, our aim is to make sure that everyone can #TAKEPART. And the basis for that is fast and high-performance internet access.
The demand for faster, full-coverage data services is constantly increasing. That’s why we invest billions each year in network expansion. In Germany, we have been the largest investor in this area for years. Our network expansion efforts are geared toward three key aspects – growth, efficiency, and quality. We will continue to expand our networks, increase the efficiency of our systems, and further strengthen our role as a leader in network quality. Detailed information regarding network expansion status and progress is provided on our corporate website via the topic-special “Networks” as well as in our annual report and our corporate responsibility report.
Our largest contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals
In September 2015 the member states of the United Nations (UN) adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The core of the 2030 Agenda comprises 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Many of our products, services, and activities allow us to make a contribution to accomplish these goals. Our broadband roll-out however has the largest contribution, especially in relation to goal #9: “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation”. The network expansion also affects other areas.
Quantifying impacts on society
We aim to continuously improve the positive social impact of our products, solutions, and activities, and minimize their negative impacts. With the support of internal and external experts, we have also developed an overarching approach we can use to measure the impact of our activities – our blueprint as it were. This is based on a six-tiered formula that enables us to identify and evaluate causal relationships.
Broadband expansion is one of our core topics that was examined. It has a positive impact on many aspects of society and helps to deliver the SDGs.
- Improved network coverage (SDGs 9 and 17) can create new jobs, as a growing number of new businesses are established, for instance (SDG 8). Average income and gross domestic product also increase as a result.
- Network expansion also lays the foundation for many other positive effects, such as improved and more equal access to digital services in the educational and health care field for example (SDGs 3,4, and 10).
However, network expansion also has negative consequences:
- On an intermittent and one-off basis, the civil engineering works that have to be undertaken to expand infrastructure consume resources, generate emissions and infringe on natural habitats.
- The expansion of higher-performance network infrastructure can lead to increased energy demand.
To mitigate these effects, we are expanding our network in an energy-efficient manner and source our electricity completely from increasingly using renewable energies (SDG 7), which means that, in the long term, the positive impacts will outweigh the negative consequences.