By: Andreas Schuler (Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer)
The German government published the second draft of its long-awaited Digital Strategy on 18 August 2022. As a combined project of the Federal Chancellery and three ministries (Federal Ministries of Finance, of Economic Affairs and Climate Action, and of Transport and Digital Infrastructure), the strategy is a central project promised in the 2021 coalition agreement. The goal is to step-up digitalisation in the country. With Germany ranked 13th of 27 in the European Commission’s 2022 Digitalisation report, the issue is particularly pressing. Many goals set in the last government’s Digital Strategy of 2018 won’t be realised in time due to a lack of prioritisation, planning difficulties, and insufficient civil engineering capacities that delayed approval processes.
The new Digital Strategy is to be adopted by the cabinet on 31 August 2022 as a cross-departmental umbrella strategy for digital policy. Even though it is a jointly prepared document, each ministry has responsibility for its implementation. This article focuses on the telecommunication infrastructure.
Besides upgrading the telecommunication infrastructure, the government plans to digitalise its administration, as well as to expand the usage of the electronic health patient record. The strategy’s focus clearly lies within increasing Germany’s competitiveness in research and development, as it wants to boost AI research and envisions a comprehensive database fed with anonymised data stemming from administration, research, and economy.
Goals for Germany’s digital infrastructure
To support the development of Germany’s digital infrastructure, the strategy provides for various targets that are to be achieved at different times.
As a joint project of the federal states, municipalities, and the telecommunications industry, the Gigabit Strategy is the overarching objective to achieve a sustainable digitalisation…