Deutsche Telekom partners with utility company EWE for fiber buildout

Deutsche Telekom has formed a joint venture with utility company EWE to build out a fiber infrastructure that will serve up to 1.5 million homes and businesses.

The new fiber-joint venture is called Glasfaser Nordwest, and it will be headquartered in Oldenberg, Germany. The joint venture's goal is to bring fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) infrastructure to Lower Saxony, starting with 12 municipalities.

About 35 employees will be working at the company's headquarters. The parent companies expect to invest up to 2 billion Euros in Glasfaser Nordwest over the next 10 years, but there's no timetable for when the joint venture will end.

Glasfaser Nordwest will make fiber-optic infrastructure available to all interested businesses under market-standard, non-discriminatory commercial arrangements. Fiber-optic lines will become available to the first customers in the build-out zone this year.

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The joint venture company will not be marketing any telecommunication services directly to end customers, but will instead provide EWE, Deutsche Telekom and other telcos with access to the fiber-optic infrastructure under open market conditions.

The joint venture will allow other businesses to buy into the fiber infrastructure once they meet certain conditions. Once purchased, they can tailor the fiber access with their own products and services to offer to their end customers.

Deutsche Telekom and EWE first signed a non-binding declaration of intent and announced their proposed joint venture two years ago. The two parent companies will carry out the upgrade work. Glasfaser Nordwest will also offer the build-out areas for bids – including bids from third parties – through a selection process on the open market.

Glasfaser Nordwest will begin with its buildout effort immediately. The first areas to receive its attention will be in Vechta, Belm and Cloppenburg, followed by Achim, Bremen, Bremerhaven, Delmenhorst, Emsdetten, Georgsmarienhütte, Oldenburg, Stade and Tostedt. Glasfaser Nordwest also intends to connect up areas that have been underserved up until now.