Corporate Responsibility

Broadband Expansion

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Sending e-mails, streaming videos and researching information - it is hard to imagine life without the internet. This makes it all the more vital that all people have the same opportunities to access the digital Net.

The demand for faster, full-coverage data services is constantly increasing. That is why we continue to rapidly expand our infrastructure: In 2016 alone, we invested 11 billion EUR, making us by far the largest investor in Europe for years now. With approximately 400,000 kilometers we operate the longest fiber-optic network in Europe. And year by year, some 30,000 kilometers are added.

The main objectives of our pan-European integrated network strategy (INS) are: 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. On the technical side, we focus on LTE, fiber optics, VDSL vectoring and hybrid, whereby hybrid combines IP fixed-line and LTE mobile communications in a single fixed-line product.

We have defined ambitious targets in implementing our strategy: By 2018 the progress of the fiber-optic network roll-out should allow bandwidths of at least 50 Mbit/s for around 80 percent of Germany's population - subject to regulatory changes. With the LTE mobile network technology we aim to achieve 95 percent coverage of the German population by the end of 2018. In late 2016, average network coverage was already at 92 percent.

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, e.g. by improving the access to health or education. Overall, we contribute to the following SDGs:

  • SDG#3 Good health and well-being
  • SDG#4 Quality education
  • SDG#8 Decent work and economic growth
  • SDG#9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  • SDG#11 Sustainable cities and communities
  • SDG#13 Climate action
  • SDG#16 Peace, justice and strong institutions

Quantifying impacts on society

In order to quantify the long-term social and environmental externalities of our network rollout, we applied the “Total Impact Measurement and Management” (“TIMM”) framework developed by PwC. The framework puts a value on impacts across society, tax, economics, and the environment and ultimately monetizes social and environmental externalities. The analysis - making exemplary reference to our broadband expansion - found the following impacts among others:

  • the broadband expansion creates new job opportunities and hence generates additional income
  • access to services like e-health is eased
  • rural and semi-urban areas benefit in particular from high network coverage

The study revealed that by far more than 50 percent of our expenses on network expansion flow into civil engineering. Hence this sector benefits the most from our investments. According to the TIMM-methodology for each invested one million Euro, approximately 20 new jobs are created among the entire value chain.