Digitization Index shows "uneven" distribution of progress in Germany

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-12 02:34:31|Editor: yan
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BERLIN, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Although Germany has made "considerable progress" in many areas of digitization in two years, not all federal states in Germany have profited from this development equally, according to the German Digitization Index presented on Monday.

The 2019 index by the German Competency Center for IT (OEFIT) of the Fraunhofer Society examined the status and development of digitization at the regional level to provide an overall picture of digitization in Germany.

At 67.6 points, Germany's overall index value that also measures broadband expansion, internet use on cellphones as well as IT start-ups and employee numbers in digital sectors, was around five points higher than that in 2017 when the study was last conducted.

All of Germany's federal states were able to increase their index value. Among them German capital Berlin and Saxony both increased their digitization index by more than 20 percent.

However, not all of the federal states have benefitted from this progress to the same extent. According to the index, "immense differences" in the allocation of public funds for research projects in the states are a reason for the regional differences.

In terms of research funding, Berlin climbed to 102.5 index points and Saxony to 75.4, with "far above-average funding amounts". Other states such as Brandenburg received much less federal research funding, although its index score still rose significantly from 46 to 60.2.

Broadband coverage also varied in Germany. The OEFIT index found that even regions that are doing well in broadband expansion are still a long way from achieving full coverage.

Although the number of new broadband connections continued to rise, it would take another six years to reach nationwide fast broadband coverage at the current pace, the index found. This would mean that the German government would miss its target of implementing nationwide broadband expansion with gigabit networks by 2025.