Germany boosts funds for faster internet to 4 billion euros

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Germany will make an additional 1.3 billion ($1.45 billion) euros in funding available to expand broadband internet access to poorly-connected regions, the Transport and Digital Infrastructure Ministry said on Friday.

The government announced plans last October to spend 2.7 billion euros as part of a push to give all households in Germany access to internet speeds of at least 50 megabytes per second by 2018.

Transport and Digital Infrastructure Minister Alexander Dobrindt said the extra funds would go to regions where network expansion is not commercially justified.

“We are investing in the development of the gigabyte society. For this we need super-fast internet everywhere in Germany for everyone,” Dobrindt said in a statement.

Better access is viewed as a crucial part of Germany’s so-called Digital Agenda, which aims among other goals to promote the digitization of industry by connecting factory floors to the internet.

Many of Germany’s small-and-medium-sized companies – known as the Mittelstand and which form the backbone of the economy – are located in rural areas.

(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Janet Lawrence)