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23 March 2011
Deutsche Telekom says it will begin to expand its fibre-optic network this year.  The company expects to deploy FTTH in 10 cities in 2011, with the aim of passing 160,000 homes by the end of the year.    This is the first step in the operators’ plans to connect 10% of all households in Germany within five years, as announced at the end of last year.
 
Germany’s incumbent launched pilot fibre-optic projects in Hennigsdorf and Braunschweig in 2010, and one home in Dresden was wired with a direct fibre-optic connection capable of 1 Gbit/s. Selected districts in Hennigsdorf and Braunschweig will be included in the new rollout; the other eight cities to be wired with fibre are Bruehl, Hanover, Neu-Isenburg, Kornwestheim, Mettmann, Offenburg, Potsdam and Rastatt.
 
VDSL is already available in 50 German cities with a maximum speed of 50Mbps, and more than 60% of households in Germany can surf at transmission speeds of 6—16Mbit/s. Outside the cities, DT connected 800 small towns and villages (360,000 homes passed) in 2010 with ADSL at up to 16Mbps, in partnership with local authorities. More rural locations will be covered in 2011, equivalent to anther 600,000 homes passed, this time with the option of VDSL.
 
DT indicated that it expected full cooperation from regulators, local authorities, and utilities to help meet its FTTH objectives. "It must be possible to use all existing infrastructure, such as cable conduits from other grid industries or even building networks, to save costs and capture synergy potential,” said Niek Jan van Damme, a Board member at Deutsche Telekom AG.  “We also have to avoid a patchwork of local fibre-optic networks in Germany, which means the industry has to agree to mutual, open network access," he added.
 
By Pauline Rigby