Golden Telecom has reported the results of the first stage of its ‘Triple-65’ fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) project across major Russian cities, carried out partly via its subsidiary Corbina Telecom. In its original plan 7.9 million households with a total population of 23.9 million people in twelve cities were to be covered with fibre access networks by the end of 2007. Golden and Corbina are 50% ahead of the original plan and by the end of 2007 expect to cover 11.6 million households with a total population of 34.9 million in 24 cities. Commenting on the progress, Jean-Pierre Vandromme, CEO of Golden Telecom, said, ‘We have been able to accelerate the rollout of the FTTB network and are currently at least a year ahead of schedule…[in Moscow] we are the fastest growing company in terms of broadband subscribers.’ The two operators plan to roll out FTTB networks in 65 cities of Russia with a total population of 65 million people, offering broadband access and triple-play services to approximately 65% of the households within apartment blocks, hence the ‘Triple-65’ name. In the targeted areas there are approximately 100 apartments per building with 2.8 people per household on average. Thus the total planned networks will enable access to around 15.6 million households with 42.3 million people, representing the largest broadband coverage in Russia.
In June-September 2007 Golden and Corbina added almost 65,000 broadband subscribers in Moscow, and 184,600 subscribers in the year-to-date in the capital, increasing the subscriber base to 299,600 in the city by end-September. Countrywide, Golden and Corbina added 243,000 broadband users in the first nine months of 2007, including 86,000 in the third quarter, to take the total subscriber base to 383,400. In the second quarter Golden Telecom began testing IPTV services based on Corbina’s infrastructure. IPTV is currently available to Corbina’s Moscow broadband subscribers, and over the next six months the service is being rolled out in more than 20 regions including St Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don, Saratov, Nizhniy Novgorod and the Moscow Region.