internet infrastructure

Internet Infrastructure



site extend construction
local play (3) convenience
dig catch up determine
pace private constantly
snail order (2) news agency
stock indeed publication
threat retailer look after
offer facility wholesaler
roof unstable carry/carried/carried
dual prepare think twice
cellar consider lay/laid/laid
gap cost (2) investment
recoil chamber chamber of commerce
zone find out commerce
set up antenna branch (2)
annoy hesitate set up shop
access follow up fire engine
border issue (3) infrastructure
factor shift (2) choose/chose/chosen
secure neglect






Right now, the center of the east German town of Gorlitz on the Polish border is a huge construction site.

But locals welcome the inconvenience: these diggers are preparing the way for new internet cables.

The net still moves at a snail’s pace in Gorlitz, annoying for private users, but indeed a threat to local businesses.

Thomas Joscht has a news agency and bookshop which constantly stocks thousands of publications.

Customer orders have to be made with publishers everywhere on Earth.

Joscht needs the internet.

Thomas Joscht, Newsagent and Book Retailer: “We also look after a huge college library nearby. And to order books for it through the wholesalers, we need high-speed internet.”

Local telecomm facilities only carry 128 kilobytes a second — not even enough to order a pizza these days.

To at least offer some kind of service, Thomas Joscht organized a radio connection, both unstable — and expensive.

Thomas Joscht, Newsagent and Book Retailer: “They put an antenna on the roof, then laid a dual cable from it down into the cellar, which was then extended to up here.

It cost us around two-and-a half thousand Euros.”

The expensive internet connection makes a lot of companies consider moving across the Neisse River to Poland, where high-speed cables were laid years ago.

The investment gap is costing jobs.

Christian Puppe of the Gorlitz Chamber of Commerce has seen companies recoil when they found out about telecommunications in this neglected border zone.

Christian Puppe, Gorlitz Chamber of Industry and Commerce: “Anyone thinking of setting up a branch here hesitates when find out the area doesn’t offer a high-speed internet connection.

Then they really think twice about setting up shop here.”

That also applies to follow up investment. The Brandschutztechnik Gorlitz Company exports two-hundred and fifty fire engines a year. The internet issue will determine whether it has a future in Gorlitz.

Andreas Neu, Brandschutztechnik Gorlitz Managing Director: “Having access to high-speed internet is definitely an important factor in choosing a location. Together with our customers, we shift a huge amount of data.

You can’t do it by mail anymore.”

Investing in internet infrastructure will help secure the seventy jobs at Brandschutztechnik Gorlitz.

And this is not the only region in Germany that needs to play catch up with the internet.

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1. In Gorlitz (in the video), they are constructing a new water pipe and sewage system. True or false? Are the residents angry about this?

2. Describe the current internet access in Gorlitz.

3. The only ones frustrated by slow internet are boys playing video games. Is this right or wrong?

4. Did the newsagent and book retailer try to solve the problem himself? Was it effective?

5. Are companies in Gorlitz considering relocating to Berlin, Hamburg or Munich?

6. According to the video, the only important factor in setting up a company is being next to a river or sea. Is this correct or incorrect? Why is high-speed internet vital for businesses?

7. Is this the only part of Germany that lags in fast internet infrastructure?


A. How is the internet access in your city or region? Is it slow, unstable and unreliable; or fast, stable and reliable; both; or somewhere in between?

B. Is having good internet connection crucial for businesses?

C. Have you ever experienced internet disconnects or slow-downs? How does it feel?

D. What regions have good, fast internet; and what parts have slow, unstable, unreliable internet connections?

E. Does somebody (the government, telecommunication companies, businesses) plan to expand internet coverage throughout the country?

F. What will happen in the future?


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