Meridiam is partnering with Magenta Telekom, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG, to extensively deploy fibre throughout Austria. Magenta Telekom is a leading provider of Internet, mobile communications, entertainment and business solutions in Austria which supplies over 1.5 million households with gigabit-capable fixed broadband speeds. Through this project, both partners plan to invest more than €1 billion to roll out a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network to over 650,000 homes in Austria, mostly in underserved rural areas and medium-sized towns.
With this new investment, Meridiam is significantly accelerating the pace of its developments in the digital “fibre” infrastructure sector, more than doubling its capital deployed to over €1.7 billion in only two years.
Digital infrastructure has become a new essential service, benefitting both businesses and residents, and further linking communities to critical public services such as healthcare and education. Every country, region and local community recognizes its rising importance in driving economic growth, competitiveness and attractivity, as well as increasing data security and sovereignty. At the same time, better, faster and more reliable connectivity is at the heart of digital inclusion, bringing people together for work, social interactions and services that are increasingly migrating online. By reducing the broadband gap between communities, digital infrastructure establishes attractive places to live and makes remote work a more viable option for all.
Over the last two years, Meridiam has been investing massively to connect places and people to the high-quality fibre networks, especially in small and rural communities who lack access to broadband at minimally acceptable speeds. All those investments are driven by the same ambition of connecting underserved people and contributing to close the broadband access gap between communities and the most globalized and digitalized urban centres. All of these projects were done in close cooperation with the respective public authorities. These projects are also fully in line with the European Commission’s Digital Europe Programme, that aims for Europe to be the most connected continent by 2030.
Meridiam initiated its fibre strategy in 2020 and is targeting over 500,000 homes passed in Germany. It has already started the roll-out of high-speed fibre to over 120,000 rural households with a corresponding investment of more than €200 million. In Austria, in addition to the Magenta project, Meridiam is partnering with the regional public body of Styria’s Liezen district to invest more than €150 million to connect up to 60,000 households to high-speed internet. At the end of 2021, Meridiam was also selected to invest €120 million to accelerate the development of fibre duct networks across Bucharest (Netcity project).
Meridiam is also actively building ubiquitous and state-of-the-art fibre networks in North America where it recently started construction on its A-Net project in Alberta, Canada. This will extend FTTH to 40,000 homes across the Edmonton region. In addition, Meridiam is developing the H-Net project in Indiana, where it will deploy fibre to over 70,000 homes and businesses until 2024. The H-Net project includes a programmatic approach to digital equity, literacy and community engagement. Residents will be offered multiple plans to choose from at various prices and internet speeds that fit their respective needs. This includes an affordable solution designed for residents who qualify for the Federal Communication Commissions’ Affordable Connectivity Program (“ACP”).
1 – Markus_KR @Pixabay
2 – @Magenta Telekom / Marlena König