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Deutsche Glasfaser ploughs €1bn into North Rhine-Westphalia FTTP network

German altnet Deutsche Glasfaser is putting the big guns to shame when it comes to rolling out fibre.

Its North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) FTTP rollout recently reached the 650,000 premises milestone, with total investment tipping the scales at more than €1 billion. The deployment itself was divided up into more than 700 individual projects spread across 150 municipalities.

“Today we have not only exceeded a remarkable mark, but within a few years we have shown the role that private-sector involvement plays in the digitisation of Germany,” said Deutsche Glasfaser CEO Uwe Nickl, in a statement on Wednesday. “We are the engine – and we are only just warming up.”

Indeed, earlier this year, Deutsche Glasfaser was acquired by private equity firm EQT and Canadian pension fund OMERS in a deal valuing the company at €2.5 billion. Following the acquisition, Deutsche Glasfaser announced a medium-term plan to spend €7 billion on rolling out full-fibre connections to more than 6 million premises. Not bad for a company founded less than 10 years ago.

By comparison, incumbent Deutsche Telekom has until recently been happy to sweat its legacy copper network, upgrading it to VDSL. It has made headway with FTTP though: its network currently reaches 1.8 million premises.

Last week, the operator extended and expanded a partnership with Telefonica Germany that will give the latter wholesale access to Deutsche Telekom’s FTTP network for the next 10 years. Deutsche Telekom said the revenue from that deal will enable it to ramp up its full fibre rollout, although it didn’t announce any specific targets. Whatever its objectives, it would do well to at least match the scale of ambition being displayed by Glasfaser.


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