With its digital agenda, the German Federal government is funding a nationwide roll-out of fiber networks since 2014. The overall goal is a broadband coverage of at least 1 Gbit/s until 2025 in Germany, prioritizing schools, industrial areas, and hospitals. The coalition treaty of 2018 estimates a funding requirement of ten to twelve billion Euros within the current legislative period. Moreover, a legal right for all citizens to access fast broadband is to be constituted. In a parallel field of action, the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure has proposed a graduated schema for implementing Building Information Modeling (BIM) until 2020. While the main benefits of BIM, so far, are located in the areas of infrastructure and structural engineering, BIM may serve as a promising tool advancing long-term optimization processes in project management for other areas, such as planning and building fiber networks.


Despite the ambitious goals and large amounts of funding being available, the roll-out of fiber networks in Germany is rather lacking behind other European countries. Among the major constraints are shortages in planning, approval procedures and construction works, the latter having an effect on costs for personnel, material, and machines of more than 80%. Hence, costs increase while building speeds decrease, thus hampering the efficacy of public funding and private investments.

Project goals

This research will analyze the impact of BIM on remedying the above obstacles. First, a semantic model describing fiber networks will be defined. The semantic model will then be mapped into a BIM schema in compliance with the Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) standard. Using the BIM schema, an infrastructure-based incentive model will be developed, supporting both telecommunication companies and the government to reduce costs and resources required for construction, planning, approval, documentation, and monitoring of fiber networks.


Professor Dr. Kay Smarsly
Hamburg University of Technology
Institute of Digital and Autonomous Construction
Blohmstra├če 15
21079 Hamburg
Email: kay.smarsly(at)tuhh(dot)de

Professor Dr. Stephan Breide
South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences
Broadband Competence Center NRW
Lindenstr. 53
59872 Meschede
Email: breide.stephan(at)fh-swf(dot)de