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Deutsche Telekom fibre rollout boosted by new investor

German telco Deutsche Telekom has created a fibre expansion joint venture with investment company IFM, which is putting €900 million into it.

DT hadn’t got around to issuing an English press release at time of writing so, as well as Google Translate, we’re reliant on IFM for the details. IFM is an Australia-based global investment fund with a soft spot for infrastructure. Its investment buys is a 50% stake in GlasfaserPlus, which has been created to rollout fibre in rural Germany.

It will be headquartered in the Cologne area and is expected to build FTTH connections to around four million homes from 2022 to 2028. It seems to be positioned as an Openreach type of thing that will be made available to other German telcos if they fancy it. That presumably explains IFM’s interest.

“This is an attractive investment for IFM’s Global Infrastructure Fund,” said IFM Global Head of Infrastructure Kyle Mangini. “The GlasfaserPlus joint venture has strong socio-economic benefits as well as long-term cash-flow predictability, which will help us deliver on our purpose, which is to protect and grow the long-term retirement savings of working people.”

“Partnerships are indispensable for the successful digitisation of our country,” said DT board member Srini Gopalan. “We are therefore very pleased that we were able to attract IFM GIF for our joint venture. This is a clear commitment to Germany as a business location and a signal that we will work together to build the digital backbone of our future society.

“Including the investments of the GlasfaserPlus joint venture, by 2030 we plan to invest more than €30 billion in fibre alone, so that all households and businesses will benefit from a gigabit-capable fibre connection. GlasfaserPlus helps us to decisively accelerate the digitisation of rural areas. The joint venture is therefore an important element of our roll-out strategy. This will benefit local authorities, but above all our customers.”

Those numbers suggest this venture represents a relatively small part of DT’s planned fibre portfolio, and one that possibly wouldn’t exist at all without external investment. Telefonica Germany has done a similar move with Unsere Grüne Glasfaser, so it looks like Germans opting for a rural lifestyle won’t have to sacrifice things like Netflix when they’re feeling lazy.


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