In order to increase investment and accelerate roll-out of high-speed broadband throughout the country, the German Broadband Competence Office (BCO) launched the Broadband Bus as part of a campaign of the Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. In order to raise awareness and provide information, the bus tours the country offering workshops and technology exhibitions, focusing on the opportunities that digital economy may bring to citizens.

Still image from video (Broadband good practice interview: the KempenGlas cooperative in the rural Netherlands) depicting the President of the KempenGlas Cooperative, Jacco Kwaaitaal. Above him is a banner with the title: Broadband Good Practice Video.

In this video, Christian Zieske, Deputy CEO of the German Federal Broadband Bureau, describes how the Broadband Bus allows the German BCO to promote and showcase on-site in places where decisions need to be made for the roll-out of broadband. Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure Director-General for Digital Society, Dr. Tobias Miethaner, explains how the initiative targets enterprises with the aim of accelerating market-driven broadband investment.

Since the campaign’s beginning in February 2017, it has seen more than 200 events across the country. The initiative’s activities and workshops focus principally on funding, organising, understanding and overcoming problems of infrastructure roll-out. Alongside these, the Broadband Bus also offers special workshops on topics such as IoT, 5G and Wifi4EU, and visits large exhibitions and trade fairs as part of its awareness raising goals.

The Broadband Bus also makes visits on request, and offers workshops tailored to the needs of key target areas, especially the rural and more remote areas. Mr. Zieske notes the progress being made, as reflected in the changing demand for guidance from these areas: “In the beginning, we went to areas to show possibilities and opportunities, and now the questions are more in terms of ‘What is the sustainability of my investment?”.

Since the first German government funding programme started in 2015, subsidies have been given to circa 3000 municipalities. Dr. Miethaner notes that there will be a further EUR 10-12 billion available for such programmes over the next four years (2018-2021).

Mr. Zieske describes the Broadband Bus as a proactive part of the German BCO’s programme, providing learning points to allow for more informed decisions, and revealing potential through the on-site visits.


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The Broadband Bus
Project coordinator
BCO Germany