German incumbent Deutsche Telekom is expanding its pilot project for FTTH service. Pre-marketing is starting now in the population centres of Bruchsal, Markkleeberg and Hildburghausen, having already begun in Bad Staffelstein in December 2017. The telco says that, in the next three months, around 30% of households in each of the scheduled expansion areas are expected to sign up for a fibre optic plan. Customers who do so during the pre-marketing phase will not have to pay a home connection fee. If pre-marketing is successful, Deutsche Telekom will start to expand fibre optic connections into homes in Bruchsal, Markkleeberg and Hildburghausen.
Telekom will be using micro-trenching for the expansion process. The telco reckons micro-trenching is around eight times faster and up to 30% cheaper than conventional deployment methods. After the expansion, Internet connections of up to 1 Gbits/s will be available in these areas. In Bad Staffelstein, 3,000 households stand to benefit from the expansion; in Bruchsal 3,500; in Hildburghausen 6,300; and in Markkleeberg 1,600. All the expansion projects are due to be completed by the start of 2019 at the latest.
In November 2017 we reported that Telekom had begun tentatively testing the national appetite for FTTH (http://opticalconnectionsnews.com/2017/11/deutsche-telekom-tentatively-tests-ftth-waters/). Up to that point, the group had 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.
Now Telekom looks to be keen to emphasise its overall fibre credentials. This year it is planning to lay 60,000 kilometres of optical fibre. By way of comparison, the figure for 2017 was 40,000. The Deutsche Telekom fibre optic network covers over 455,000 kilometres in total, making it the largest in Europe.