Despite the existing approvals, at least three Baden-Württemberg municipalities are foregoing federal funding of several hundred thousand euros for broadband expansion. This emerges from a response by the Federal Government to a request from the Greens in the Bundestag. The city of Mössingen in the Tübingen district waived the approved funding of around 451,000 euros. The municipalities of Wutöschingen (Waldshut district / almost 378,000 euros) and Gomaringen (Tübingen district / around 195,000 euros) have also been granted funds. Nationwide, according to the list, more than 90 municipalities have waived financial support from Berlin.
Despite funding, no network provider
The reasons are different. The municipality of Wutöschingen announced that in the end, despite the funding, they had not found a network provider who wanted to manage the expansion of certain municipal areas with fiber optic cables. Although there was an interested party in the preliminary proceedings, he withdrew. Therefore, the money had to be returned.
In Mössingen, broadband expansion in three commercial areas should be funded with federal grants. “We withdrew the original funding applications due to a change in the funding program and then re-submitted them for the new funding period,” the city announced. Therefore, the approved funds could not have been called up so far. But: “The project is still current.”
Realization without grants
In Gomaringen, too, it was about an industrial area that should be supplied with fast internet. The city announced that after applying for the funding, a provider had been found who had implemented the project without any municipal subsidies. According to the information, if the municipality had used the federal funding, it would have had to shoot around 63,000 euros for the fiber optic expansion. “We didn’t have to do that now.”
The federal funding program has existed since 2015. It comprises around eleven billion euros. According to the federal government, the Federal Ministry of Transport, which is responsible for the disbursement, only distributed around 570 million euros in June. The funding is intended to promote broadband expansion even where network providers do not want to expand on their own due to lack of profitability, or to enable municipalities to drive the expansion so that the network infrastructure can then be leased to commercial providers.