KPN to test sustainable fibre

Created September 7, 2020
News and Business

KPN says it will start a trial to build a fibre optic network made of 90% recycled plastic. The company says only 10% of new plastic will be needed to manufacture the tube in which the fibre optic cable fits. The construction is made durable by using a 4.5 mm cable in a 10 mm tube instead of the conventional 6 mm cable in a 14 mm tube. This reduces the volume of plastics used by about 50%. Because the cable and tube are also thinner, says KPN, more of it fits on a reel and as a result, the number of wooden reels decreases by 70%. This means that about six full freight transports fewer will be needed to connect the projected 11,000 connections in the test. KPN calculates the initiative is comparable to saving 760 plastic carrier bags per connection.

KPN’s Joost Steltenpool, who is responsible for the fibre network said, “KPN has been committed to sustainability for years and together with partners we are exploring how we can build fibre more quickly, more sustainably and with less inconvenience. Our ambition is not only to provide as many people with super-fast internet as possible, we also want to do so in a sustainable way. That’s what our customers want. This new development is another contribution to this.”

Erik van den Oever, commercially responsible for the development of Prysmian Group’s concept commented, “Due to the smaller and more flexible cables and tubes, the often full cable line is less burdened. In addition, they are easier to install and spare pipes can be reused.”

This initiative has been developed and is being tested in collaboration with KPN partners Allinq, Van Gelder Telecom, Prysmian Group and VolkerWessels Telecom. The trial will take place in Buitenpost (Friesland) and Nijmegen Dukenburg. If the result is positive, the cable will be released for more of KPN’s fibre construction projects.

KPN aims to supply more than 40% of Dutch households with fibre by the end of 2021. Currently, it has around 2.6 million households (32%) connected to its fibre optic network.

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This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.