The energy provider Vattenfall and the network operator Eurofiber want to supply more than 500,000 households and companies in Berlin with fiber optic connections by 2026 with their joint venture. The joint venture signed a letter of intent with the State of Berlin on Wednesday. Vattenfall Eurofiber guarantees investments in the fiber optic expansion “in the millions” and in return receives support from the Berlin Senate for rapid expansion.
“All citizens benefit from good data connections, as they are a basis for the strength of our economy and social participation,” said Christian Rickerts, State Secretary of the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises. Meanwhile, Vattenfall manager Jan Timmermann is hoping for “simplified and digitized approval procedures”.
Lay cables in district heating ducts
Vattenfall plans to use district heating channels in the capital for the expansion. This minimally invasive intervention would result in significantly less civil engineering work and costs, the companies said. The Berlin district heating network is operated, maintained and expanded by Vattenfall Wärme Berlin AG. With a route length of more than 2,000 km and 1.3 million residential units supplied (as of Vattenfall, August 2021), the Berlin district heating network is one of the largest in the world and still offers room for improvement in terms of future fiber optic connections.
Vattenfall and Eurofiber founded their joint venture in September 2020. The groundbreaking ceremony took place two weeks ago in Berlin-Spandau. It has not yet been officially announced which other parts of Berlin will be supplied with fiber optics in the near future.
Eurofiber has been developing, maintaining and expanding its infrastructure in various EU countries for 20 years. With its fiber optic network and its data centers, Eurofiber operates, for example, in the Netherlands, Belgium and France. In addition to fiber optics, the products also include cloud and connectivity solutions. The new Berlin fiber optic network from Eurofiber is available to all Internet providers without discrimination. Customers are therefore free to choose services, applications and providers.