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Johannes Maisack

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Glasfaser Nordwest begins its work

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  • EWE and Telekom Joint Venture kicks off with 35 employees in Oldenburg 
  • High-speed internet for up to 1.5 million households and business locations 
  • First 12 municipalities for fiber-optic roll-out announced
The foundation of Glasfaser Nordwest is the largest such move so far in the effort to build out fiber-optic infrastructure.

The foundation of Glasfaser Nordwest is the largest such move so far in the effort to build out fiber-optic infrastructure in Germany. About 35 employees will be working at the company’s head office in Oldenburg.

Together, Deutsche Telekom and EWE have announced the foundation of their new joint venture “Glasfaser Nordwest”. The new company, whose head office will be in Oldenburg, Lower Saxony, aims to provide up to 1.5 million households and business locations with high-speed internet. Its foundation is the largest such move so far in the effort to build out fiber-optic infrastructure in Germany.

Telekom Deutschland boss Dirk Wössner and EWE CEO Stefan Dohler explained their strategy at a press conference held on January 15. The meeting also introduced the two top management figures at Glasfaser Nordwest, Christoph Meurer and Oliver Prostak. 

“Today is a good day for the northwest of Germany. One and a half million households and business premises are set to benefit from these two strong businesses joining forces. Glasfaser Nordwest is set to bring high-speed connectivity to the cities and across the countryside. And I’m delighted that all our efforts to achieve cooperation have paid off, “commented Dirk Wössner. 

 “Together, we stand for the speedy build-out of fiber-optic infrastructure on a large scale in our region.  As a result, Germany's northwest is set to take on a trailblazing role in the sector and lead the way into the digital transformation – Glasfaser Nordwest will be providing the infrastructure in that campaign, while we ensure that products can be freely selected. The effort will result in more effective competition and the best possible connectivity for the people of the northwest,” added Stefan Dohler. 

About 35 employees will be working at the company’s head office in Oldenburg. Christoph Meurer and Oliver Prostak were introduced as the new company’s top managers. 

Leadership positions and further vacancies within the company have already been filled.

Oliver Prostak (born in 1990) previously worked as the boss of Market Development within the sales management team at Telekom Deutschland’s Wholesale Center in Bonn. Before that, he was a senior specialist for controlling in value-added management for large technology cases, also at Telekom Deutschland. Prostak studied management at the Leipzig Graduate School of Management and has founded two internet start-ups. “Glasfaser Nordwest’s foundation provides brand new opportunities for rethinking the topic of telecommunication. Based on our new business model, we aim to unite a great many telco providers on our network. Our end customers will benefit from our standardized, transparent processes no matter what provider they choose to work with,” declared Prostak on Glasfaser Nordwest’s future.

Christoph Meurer (born in 1982) last worked as head of strategic cooperation at EWE TEL in Oldenburg and was chief of order and technical service management as well as FTTH project manager at EWE TEL. Aside from that, he was also in charge of group development in strategic areas as well as leading projects at board of management level at EWE AG. Before joining EWE, Meurer worked as a business consultant. Meurer studied business administration at the University of Cologne and City University of Hong Kong. “Through our business model, we intend to reinforce the region and strengthen its competitiveness. We will use the very latest fiber-optical infrastructure to support the region in facing the emerging challenges of today and in the future resulting from the advance of the digital revolution – in both the private and the professional world,” declared Meurer. 

Glasfaser NordWest will be building out the network in parts of Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Bremen. The technology underlying the new connections will be fiber to the home (FTTH). The two parent companies expect to invest up to two billion euros in the effort over a ten-year period. The joint venture is set to remain in place indefinitely. 

Glasfaser Nordwest will begin with its build-out 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. 

Through the joint effort in building out fiber-optic networks, Glasfaser Nordwest also intends to connect up areas that have been underserved up until now. Entirely uneconomical build-out areas will, however, remain dependent on the support of subsidies. For anti-trust law reasons, Glasfaser Nordwest will not be participating in such work.

The company 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 in 2020. The joint venture company will not be marketing any telecommunication services directly to end customers. Its role will be to provide EWE, Deutsche Telekom and other telcos with access to the fiber-optic infrastructure under open market conditions. Other businesses can acquire (wholebuy) this fiber-optic infrastructure under clearly set-out conditions, can “embellish” it by the addition of its own products and offer their own independent product to their customers.  

The zones to be built-out during the first two years of operation will be set out in advance. The two parent companies, Deutsche Telekom and EWE, will carry out the upgrading work. After this period, Glasfaser Nordwest will also offer the build-out areas for bids – including bids from third parties – through a selection process on the open market. The concept of open market competition means that Glasfaser Nordwest will accept the best offer for build-out of the infrastructure. 

It was back in December 2017 that Deutsche Telekom and EWE first signed a non-binding declaration of intent and announced their proposed joint venture. The two companies registered their desire to create Glasfaser Nordwest with the Federal Cartel Office in March 2019. That act initiated a process of intensive checks involving the participation of other market players.  On December 30, 2019, the Cartel Office gave its definitive green light to the foundation of the company. And that foundation has now taken place. The new company is now ready to begin its work. 

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