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Broadband expansion

Shaping the digital future

We are all becoming increasingly digital. New services and technologies permeate almost every area of daily life and business. New opportunities for coexistence and cooperation, social participation and economic success are developing. The basis for this are high-performance broadband networks, which must be available to private households, social institutions and businesses.

In Bocholt, the availability of gigabit-capable connections (incl. cable TV) is approx. 72 percent (as of 12/2021). In order to further develop this rate positively, various measures are being taken at the telecommunication companies' own expense or through funding projects.

Subsidised broadband expansion

For telecommunications companies, the expansion of fibre-optic networks in rural areas is often unprofitable because the expansion costs are not in proportion to the expected revenues. To close this so-called profitability gap, the federal government and the state of NRW offer various funding programmes. The funding rate is regularly 80 or 90 percent. The remaining share must be covered by the municipalities' own funds. The city of Bocholt is taking advantage of this opportunity to gradually build up nationwide broadband coverage.

From 2019 to 2021, approximately 1,000 households could thus benefit from a subsidised broadband connection.

In order to enable further private households and businesses to benefit from a subsidised broadband connection, an application for the so-called Grey Spots subsidy was submitted in 2022. Further information on this current project can be found in the section on grey area funding in the city of Bocholt.

Finally, the Bocholt primary schools will receive a subsidised broadband connection by the middle of 2024. The project is being implemented in close cooperation between the city of Bocholt and Bocholter Energie- und Wasserversorgung GmbH. After completion, all schools in Bocholt will have a gigabit-capable connection, which is essential for digital networking in everyday school life.

Grey Spots Promotion in the City of Bocholt

Fibre and broadband
© Adobe Stock

In areas where expansion is not profitable and a market failure is identified, the federal government and the federal states provide support with broadband funding (federal funding programme Gigabit). The grey areas programme (so-called light grey areas) is aimed at private households with less than 100 Mbit/s technically reliable download speeds. In addition, socio-economic focal points, which include companies and agricultural businesses in particular, are generally eligible for funding regardless of a take-up threshold, as long as they are not already gigabit-capable.

The city of Bocholt has received a provisional approval notice for the funding project. Around 1,000 addresses outside the city centre core area are expected to be expanded. In the next step, the fibre optic expansion will be put out to tender by the city of Bocholt in an extensive Europe-wide tendering process. The contract is expected to be awarded at the end of May 2024. After that, statements on a differentiated schedule can be made.

Further information on the federal Gigabit funding programme can be found on the website of the aconium project management agency.

Address query option for private households

You want to check whether your address is covered by the subsidy project, i.e. whether it can receive a subsidised broadband connection? You can access the address query here.


Please note that BEW is implementing a self-supported broadband expansion in the core area of the city of Bocholt. If your address falls within the self-supported expansion, funding is excluded. You can obtain information on this via the specified contact.

Glass fibre

Self-financed broadband expansion in the city of Bocholt

In addition to the subsidised expansion, telecommunications companies can set up a broadband infrastructure at their own expense.

The city of Bocholt is currently aware of one specific expansion project. Bocholter Energie- und Wasserversorgung GmbH will upgrade the telecommunications network in the core area of the city to a modern fibre optic network at its own expense. Further information on this project can be found on the "faserfreunde" website.