Digital transformation and the hereby enabled processes of interconnectivity have a strong impact on all areas of modern society. The consequent changes affect different areas of our personal life such as how we communicate with family and friends, how we organise our households (smart homes), our consumer behaviour (internet-based platforms) and our learning and working environment (decentralised learning and working). The way of social and political exchange is shifting. Digitisation triggers a significant transformation process in the economy.
The Bundesnetzagentur is developing concepts and methods to support the initiative ‘smart networks’ launched by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The authority deals extensively with digitisation issues, with a particular focus on the network sectors electricity, gas, telecommunications, postal and railway. In these areas, the Bundesnetzagentur can draw on extensive specialist knowledge and is in lively exchange with the regulated companies. The Bundesnetzagentur's regulatory activities also raise a variety of questions related to digital transformation and interconnectivity processes. One of the core aims in particular is to identify the implications of the digitisation with respect to the regulatory objectives in each of the sectors.
In June 2017, a policy paper on digital transformation in the network sectors was published by the Bundesnetzagentur. The paper systematically analyses the spread of digital technology in the network sectors and aims to identify the need for regulatory action.
An English summary of the policy paper is available.