The Altmark has a lot to offer.

In the Drömling Nature Park, visitors can explore a moor landscape, in the Colbitz-Letzlinger Heide roam through Europe's largest linden forest.

If you want to relax even more, you can go on the yoga circular route on the Arendsee, including instructions for "walking meditation for mindfulness and deceleration".

It is better not to try, however, to dial into a video conference with colleagues from home or to stream a series from the Internet.

In the broadband atlas of the Federal Ministry of Transport, the rural region in the north of Saxony-Anhalt is full of white spots.

Julia Löhr

Business correspondent in Berlin.

  • Follow I follow

The man who has set out to change that is called Andreas Kluge and is the managing director of the Altmark Broadband Association. Ten years ago, several districts and municipalities founded this so that the sparsely populated region could get fast internet. At first they still hoped to be able to win one of the large telecommunications companies for this project. But they only wanted to invest where it pays off, i.e. in medium-sized cities, not in rural areas. So the association decided to lay fiber optics in the smaller towns themselves. Without a modern infrastructure, it was clear to everyone that the number of inhabitants would continue to shrink. After countless funding applications, tenders, negotiations with banks, civil engineering companies and internet service providers, the goal is now in sight.By the end of 2022, Altmark should be fiber-optic land. It should be noted that Kluge is proud of it. “We have towns here with just 81 inhabitants,” he says. “They now get 500 megabits per second.” But he also makes no secret of how arduous this path was.

If the SPD, Greens and FDP have their way, there should be more such examples in the future. In a traffic light coalition, the three parties want to modernize the country, not only on paper, as they accuse the previous governments, but also in reality. More wind turbines, more power lines, more charging stations, more fast internet: the state must invest 50 billion euros a year in better infrastructure, the Greens chairman Robert Habeck calculated in a talk show just a few days ago. Berlin is now eagerly looking for ways to get this money. One idea is that the next federal finance minister will use the debt brake, which has been suspended due to Corona, to take out loans for investments. Which would be quite tricky from a legal point of view. Another consideration isTo set up investment companies that can take out loans themselves. Which is rarely mentioned: Even in the past, investments in Germany rarely failed because of too little money. The problem is rather to spend the funds made available quickly, as shown by the example of broadband expansion.

Keywords: investments, billions, andreas kluge, fiber optics, investment backlog, snail, pace, money, berlin, solution, broadband expansion, problems, moor landscape, elsewhere, lot