Telekom Deutschland, the domestic fixed and mobile operating unit of Deutsche Telekom (DT), has signed an agreement with regional operator EWE to establish a joint venture for the deployment of fibre-optic access networks. The cooperation between the two companies aims to connect more than one million homes and apartments to fibre-to-the-home/building (FTTH/B) infrastructure in the northwest. The pair plan to work together in the states of Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Bremen, with each of the two partners holding a 50% stake in the planned joint venture, which will also open up its networks to third party service providers for use at commercial terms. The ten-year time frame for the network expansion calls for the joint venture to invest up to EUR2 billion (USD2.4 billion), with a priority on rural areas, and with operations scheduled to begin in mid-2018.
‘The cooperation will make the fibre-optic expansion considerably more cost-effective, and it will help us make an important contribution to the region’s infrastructure competition,’ noted DT’s CEO Tim Hoettges, adding: ‘The key is that FTTB and FTTH accesses will no longer be regulated. That is a central prerequisite for the joint project, and we are having talks with the Federal Network Agency.’