Mapping broadband coverage in Germany

Broadband Coverage in Europe in 2011 - key results for Germany

One of the European Union’s most ambitious targets is to make sure that all its citizens can get access to superfast broadband at home, if they choose, by 2020. A new study by broadband specialists Point Topic shows Germany is now nearly 61% towards achieving that aim.

Download report – Broadband Coverage in Europe in 2011 – Germany

National coverage by broadband technology – Germany

Germany broadband coverage by technology combination - BCE 2011

Germany broadband coverage by technology combination – BCE 2011

Germany has a very well-developed broadband infrastructure but its coverage shows up as unexpectedly low compared with European averages.  The main reason is that Germany’s official definitions for broadband coverage are much more rigorous than those applied so far in most other countries.  Germany publishes detailed statistics for broadband coverage based on the availability of services providing a minimum of 1Mbps download speed.

The BCE 2011 project has based its estimates on these statistics and as a result Germany shows up as falling well below all but one of the European combination averages.  The exception is Total NGA coverage.  Here the 1Mbps limit is irrelevant and Germany is well above average, at 61%.  In fact it has the highest NGA coverage of any large European country.

The technology profile shows where these combination estimates come from.   At 93% Germany’s DSL coverage is barely ahead of the European average but the figure would be close to 100% if based on a looser definition.  The gap illustrates the shortfall Europe-wide between DSL coverage as often understood and a situation where everyone can enjoy, say, the 2Mbps they would need for reliable video streaming..  Even more striking, HSPA coverage comes out at only 89%, the second lowest in Europe, again because of the 1Mbps test.

On the other hand, Germany has one of the highest rollouts of VDSL to date, at 42% coverage.  Other contributors to the NGA total are an extensive cable network with 38% coverage of Docsis 3 and modest FTTP coverage at 2.6%.

NGA broadband maps for Germany

DE nga mapStandard broadband coverage in Germany is reported on a more conservative basis than for most countries.  This provides a more revealing picture as the map above shows.  Coverage for Germany’s 429 different NUTS 3 areas (corresponding to Germany’s Landkreise and Stadtkreise, equivalent to rural and urban counties) ranges from 100% down to 81%.

Seventeen of the counties have 100% standard coverage, including most of the great cities from Berlin and Hamburg on down.  Another 196 areas have at least 95% coverage, 58 of them with at least 99%.  Then 143 have at least 90% coverage, leaving 73 with under 90% but at least 80%.

As the map shows, many of the counties with the lowest coverage are in the former East Germany, but others are in the more rural areas of West German provinces such as Rheinland-Pfalz and Hessen.

The pattern with NGA coverage is more consolidated, largely the reflecting the coverage of Germany’s cable networks and where they have been upgraded to Docsis 3.  Some compact cities with full cable networks already have 100% NGA coverage on this basis.  A broad swathe of areas in the western half of the country, all the way down the Rhine valley , have at least 65% NGA as do the big cities and independent towns in the rest of the country.  That leaves 132 counties with less than 35%, as yet, of which 16 have less than 10% NGA.  Again, most of these are in the eastern laender but they do include most of Rheinland-Pfalz and a swathe across Lower Saxony.

Data tables for Germany


Statistic National
Population 82,217,837
Persons per household 2.061
Rural proportion 10.6%

Coverage by technology

Technology Total Rural
DSL 92.8% 51.4%
VDSL 41.5% 0.0%
FTTP 2.6% 0.0%
WiMAX 11.5% 11.5%
Standard cable 52.5% 2.0%
Docsis 3 cable 38.2% 2.0%
HSPA 89.1% 30.7%
LTE 22.5% 41.0%
Satellite 100.0% 100.0%
Standard Combination 95.3% 58.0%
NGA Combination 60.8% 2.0%

Find out more

Point Topic maps broadband coverage in every square kilometre across Europe. For more details, please visit the Broadband Competition Map of Europe page or contact Tim Johnson at or telephone +44(0)20 3301 3303.


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