More attention for the importance of data centres for the digital transformation
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The Importance of Digital Infrastructures in Germany

Socio-economic Opportunities and Challenges for Data Centers in International Competition

Borderstep has analysed the importance of digital infrastructures on behalf of eco-Verband der Internetwirtschaft e.V.

The politically wanted digital transformation of society and the economy needs powerful and reliable digital infrastructures as a basis. At the same time, Germany’s digital sovereignty is a basic prerequisite for securing the international competitiveness of the German economy in the long term.

Public discussions about digital infrastructures in Germany focus almost exclusively on the expansion of broadband networks. There is also an urgent need for action here. In an international comparison, Germany is at a disadvantage when it comes to the expansion of high-performance fibre-optic networks.

The importance of data centres as the second essential element of digital infrastructures is practically ignored in the public and political discussion in Germany. Neither the Federal Government’s Digital Agenda nor the BMWi’s Monitoring Report on the Digital Economy explicitly address data centres. However, it will be of considerable importance for Germany’s digital sovereignty that the processing and storage of important data (“oil of the 21st century”) takes place in Germany. Other states – in Europe above all the Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands – have already been pursuing explicit strategies and measures to promote the location of data centres for years.

The main objective of this project was to contribute to increasing public awareness of the role and importance of digital infrastructures in Germany by summarising and supplementing information on the economic significance of data centres in Germany. The focus areas of the study are the structure and economic power of the industry, international competition and the interface to the energy transition.

In addition, the information should serve to determine the position of the newly founded alliance to strengthen digital infrastructures in Germany. The alliance of leading data centre operators under the umbrella of eco e. V. has set itself the goal of improving the political framework conditions for operators of digital infrastructures.

Download the full Borderstep Institute study (in German language): Bedeutung digitaler Infrastrukturen in Deutschland