Politics impacts Germany's fibre plans

Germany's regulator is encouraging a faster buildout of the country's high-speed broadband network, a topic that has become a political football for Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Two smaller parties looking to form a coalition with the ruling Christian Democratic Union set a precondition that the country sell its stake in Deutsche Telekom and put the proceeds toward a national rollout of fibre to the premises.

The Christian Democrats instead suggested that privatisation should start with the Deutsche Post.

"We can't delay further investments into the distant future and risk missing out on the chances of digitalization," said Jochen Homann, president of the Federal Network Agency. The copper-based technology that Deutsche Telekom relies upon can't be easily upgraded further.

Merkel has discussed investing €20bn into glass fibre by 2025 as part of the now-collapsed coalition talks; the CDU is now exploring reviving a previous alliance with Social Democrats.