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DT FTTH rollout depends on demand for cat videos

Wet cat in the bath

Deutsche Telekom has outlined its fibre-to-the-home ambitions, with 40,000km of optical fibre to be laid this year.

Considering German stereotypes for efficiency, the fibre rollout is not going as you would expect. Part of this will of course be down to the size of the country, but in comparison to some other nations in Europe, the Germans have a long way to go. Part of this latest initiative will focus on smaller towns in the countryside to bridge the digital divide.

“We introduced pre-marketing in 2011 and came back to it as a great tool for building out fibre-optic infrastructure,” said Niek Jan van Damme, Head of Deutsche Telekom’s business operations in Germany. “Demand was mostly too low a few years ago, but we’re hoping for a better response this time around.”

As you can see it is a tentative move from DT, as there would have to be suitable demand for fibre services prior to any moves being made. Suitable demand has been set at 750 orders from people in the new region before any commitment would be considered from the telco. Such demand was not present in 2011 when the team previously attempted to rollout services, but maybe the rural communities have woken up to the delights of cat videos in the last six years.

While there haven’t been any numbers quoted on how many homes will be passed with the new services, DT has said it will lay 40,000km of fibre this year, and a further 60,000km next year. Deutsche Telekom’s fibre-optic network now totals 455,000 km in length, and the new initiative will have a particular focus on business parks.

“We deliberately chose to focus initially on building out fibre infrastructure to the cable distribution boxes and using vectoring as this allowed us to rapidly cover large areas of Germany with high-speed Internet lines,” said van Damme. “The second phase will be to bring optical fibre closer to homes.”

The right noises are certainly coming out of the DT offices, but before any trenching can begin, the German farmers have to show they have an appetite for cat videos and Tinder.

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