Deutsche Telekom defends broadband expansion strategy

Wednesday 23 August 2017 | 14:49 CET | News

Deutsche Telekom has defended its record on expanding broadband services, as the issue of whether Germany is falling behind in digitisation has become as focus of the federal election campaign. Telekom's broadband expansion is focused on upgrading its copper network with new VDSL techniques, a strategy that has faced criticism from some for not investing more in full fibre networks. 

In a blog on its website, Telekom said that it chose VDSL vectoring in order to bring faster speeds to more areas sooner. If the company relied on FTTH, rural areas would be unlikely to see upgrades any time soon, the company said, noting that not only is it too costly and technically difficult to bring fibre to rural areas, there is also "no demand" there for it. 

Furthermore, the company does have significant fibre in its network already, at a total 455,000 km, with an average 25,000 km added each year since 2010. It is installing FTTP in selected areas, especially business parks and industrial areas, and residential customers interested in a direct connection can apply to the operator for an offer. In addition, Telekom cooperates with local fibre operators such as NetCologne, Ewe Tel and Innogy. 

Finally, Deutsche Telekom said that Germany is already among the leading European nations in terms of broadband access, with over 80 percent of the population able to receives speeds of at least 30 Mbps. The company targets bringing 50 Mbps to over 80 percent by the end of 2018 - a self-imposed obligation that it noted others such as cable operators have not assumed. 

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