Broadband rollout Working at the office or at home, making video calls with relatives and friends, streaming movies, series and music - for all that people in Austria need fast internet, so-called “broadband internet”. The corona crisis has shown more clearly than ever how important it is to have access to fast and smoothly working internet.

Broadband - what actually is it?

Broadband internet access is an umbrella term which is frequently used for fast wire-based or mobile internet connections. These internet connections are characterised by a data transfer rate that is several times as high as the transfer rate of traditional technologies like, for instance, modem dial-in, which you may remember. In summary, one could say: Broadband is “fast internet”. There is no uniform definition saying how high the transfer rate has to be to speak of broadband. As technologies continuously develop, common threshold values are continuously rising, too.

Many activities that people in Austria carry out on the internet today - video streaming, video telephony and the like - require high-speed internet. These transfer rates can for example be provided by means of a broadband access via fibre. In this technology, data are transferred in the form of optical signals via fibre, more exactly speaking via optical fibres. One advantage of the data transfer via optical fibre is that optical signals are able to bridge large distances quickly, efficiently and without loss of data.

Why broadband rollout is important

Many people know the trouble with unstable internet connections. People’s everyday life in Austria is increasingly getting digital - both in professional and in private life. Digitisation also offers opportunities to domestic enterprises, can promote economic growth and reduce unemployment. To be well prepared for the digital future, Austria needs a resilient, area-wide and efficient communications infrastructure. The Federal Government is therefore constantly working to boost broadband rollout.

Fast and stable internet is a matter of course to many people in Austria. However, since the beginning of the SARS pandemic many have become aware of how dependent they are from an area-wide, efficient and resilient (that is, failure-resistant) communications infrastructure.  Especially in times of crisis such an infrastructure is vital for the economy, for administration and society.

Where an efficient communications infrastructure is available, people in Austria can work at home, provided this is possible in their areas of work. Children, youths and students can continue their learning routine with the help of digital learning platforms. During curfews online orders ensure the supply with medicinal products and food, but also with many other products. Video telephony enables communication with family members and friends. Moreover, digital health technologies can be used to communicate with physicians, for example in the form of virtual consultation hours.

As we can see, broadband internet access has become an integral part of everyday life in Austria. All the more important is it to continue boosting broadband rollout to ensure that people benefit of always higher transfer rates and that fast internet is available to people all over Austria, in particular also in rural areas.