Deutsche Telekom (DT) has announced it is teaming up with municipal energy provider eins energie in sachsen for the rollout of a high speed fibre-optic network to provide broadband services in the city of Chemnitz. Under the cooperation agreement, Chemintz-based eins energie in sachsen will construct the infrastructure, while DT will operate the network. Rollout will begin in April, with 20,000 homes expected to be connected by the end of the year. From the autumn, the first households that are connected to the fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) infrastructure will be able to access the internet at download speeds of up to 200Mbps. Deployment is then scheduled to continue, with a further 20,000 or so homes expected to be connected in each of the next two years, bringing the total number of homes connected to the Chemnitz fibre network to around 60,000 by the end of 2014. ‘This is the largest optical fiber project DT has undertaken anywhere in Germany and this project here in Chemnitz is the first time we have entered into a cooperation with a regional utilities company,’ noted Niek Jan van Damme, chairman of the Managing Board of Telekom Deutschland, adding: ‘eins is the local power company, the people of Chemnitz know the company, and it is an expert in the construction and operation of supply networks. We are open to working together with other enterprises and we look at all forms of cooperation, including with regional companies such as municipal and regional utilities companies or other partners.’
Active cooperation from property owners is necessary for the construction and rollout of the network, as eins needs the consent of the owners for the network construction up to the building and inside the front door. If 80% of property owners in the first rollout area opt for such a connection and 10% of homes select a product marketed via the FTTH network, then the deployment will continue step-by-step in additional areas of the city in 2013 and 2014. Once the infrastructure has been completed, DT will lease the network from eins and will operate it without discrimination, meaning that competitors will also be able to use the network for their services via wholesale products from the incumbent.