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The Federal Cabinet today adopted the draft of a Telecommunications Modernization Act submitted by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. The Act establishes a tailored and forward-looking regulatory framework for the German telecommunications market and the final customers. To this end, the Telecommunications Act has been completely revised and recast.

The Federal Minister of Transport, Andreas Scheuer, said:

With this Act, we are bringing about a convergence of living standards. No matter whether I decide to live in a rural area or a city – in the future, everyone will have a legally enshrined right to high-speed internet. Moreover, we are strengthening the gigabit roll-out by speeding up approvals and enabling the use of new technologies – but also by establishing obligations in the private-sector broadband roll-out. Because about one thing there can be no doubt: today, access to high-speed internet is one of the cornerstones of social and economic inclusion. This is something we have been acutely reminded of in the current Covid-19 pandemic.

The Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Peter Altmaier, stated:

With this Act, we are providing a major impetus for an accelerated and universal roll-out of gigabit networks. We are incentivizing investment and innovation to progress the market-driven roll-out of digital infrastructure. In addition, we are strengthening consumer rights. Rapid and reliable internet access is indispensable for our society of today. If appointments with technicians are cancelled and the promised bandwidth cannot be realized, this is annoying not only for the individual but, in times of so many people working from home, it also represents an economic stumbling block. We want to remedy this situation.

The bill serves to implement the European Electronic Communications Code, which entered into force at the end of 2018. It sets the course for a modernized regulatory framework in the field of telecommunications.