German telecoms company Deutsche Telekom (DT) has announced it sealed agreements for 720 partnership deals with municipalities across the country to expand their broadband networks in 2009. Another 50 agreements are awaiting municipal officials’ approval. Wherever broadband expansion would incur losses due to low potential customer bases and high expansion costs, DT offers to cooperate with local communities. The municipalities can then participate in the expansion in various ways to cover the remaining costs, such as by making available any existing cable ducts or conduits, or by taking on the necessary underground engineering measures. Overall, the incumbent has sealed more than 1,200 partnership deals in order to help close the digital divide between urban and rural areas.
Thanks to the partnerships, along with capacity upgrades and standard expansion, DT revealed that around 300,000 additional households can now enjoy high speed internet connections. ‘We will continue our targeted investments in rural areas in 2010 and plan to enter into about as many partnerships as we did last year,’ explained Niek Jan van Damme, member of the board of management at DT, adding, ‘We keep our promises and support the efforts of the federal government to continue pushing broadband expansion in Germany.’ To enable more broadband connections in the future, the firm plans to rely more heavily on a combination of technologies; in locations where the rollout of fixed networks would be too expensive, DT will look to wireless and microwave radio solutions as possible alternatives.