German incumbent Deutsche Telekom is testing the national appetite for FTTH. Up to this point, the telco has focused on taking fibre to business parks, or building fibre infrastructure to cable distribution boxes and using vectoring over copper to complete the run to homes.
A new Telekom marketing strategy is to pilot the build-out of FTTH in smaller towns. The first project is being launched in the town of Bad Staffelstein in Franconia. Starting in December until the end of February, residents there can register for a fibre optic line. If a minimum of 750 orders for ultra-fast Internet are received during the pre-marketing phase, the fibre optic network will be built out to the community by the end of 2018. In addition, early bird sign-ups for an FTTH service will not have to pay any installation charges. Further pilot towns in Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Saxony, and Thuringia are to follow early next year.
“We introduced pre-marketing in 2011 and came back to it as a great tool for building out fibre optic infrastructure, says 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.”
Deutsche Telekom plans to lay the fibre optic cables using micro-trenching technology. “This saves us time and money and minimises the disruption for residents. More communities should opt to use this innovative technology and give people access to high-speed Internet lines,” continues van Damme.
Deutsche Telekom is also beefing up its efforts to expand its main fibre optic infrastructure in areas outside of the pilot projects. It aims to lay 40,000 km of new fibre cables this year – up from the 30,000 originally planned. The figure planned for the coming year is 60,000 km.
The incumbent does acknowledge, though, that the plan to bring fibre closer to homes would be heavily dependent on regulatory incentives, touching on calls to change regulation so as not to impede the build-out of FTTH or FTTB.