On December 6, 2021, Meridiam was selected preferred bidder for the development of the fibre network for more than 50,000 homes in Liezen, the largest district of Austria(1) located in the geographic heart of the country. The 50-year contract comprises the rolling-out, financing, operating and maintaining of the regional fibre network in the 29 municipalities of the district.
Through this project, Meridiam will invest more than 100 million EUR, while contributing to Austria’s strategic plan to push the widespread roll-out of fibre throughout the country. As a matter of fact, Austria is ranked last of all European countries with just 1.9% of households subscribing to a fibre connection(2). And Austria intends to devote more than 1 billion EUR to massively deploy fibre access in the coming years.
The regional fibre network will make the Liezen district more attractive for new businesses (SDG #8), accommodate increasing home-office trends and reduce the need to commute to the main cities of Graz and Linz. Finally, faster and higher quality internet using latest technology will support local industries and communities (SDG #9). This will help to increase the quality of people’s life in the region, will be a basis for new businesses and economic growth in the light of the ongoing digitalization, and hence is vital to fight against brain-drain in this rural region.
Construction of the network will start in 2023 and full-scale operation is scheduled to begin in 2025. The fibre network will be laid mostly under already constructed routes (roads, paths) as well as in the already existing duct infrastructure.
Meridiam is already active in the fibre sector. In Germany, Meridiam is currently building a comprehensive fibre optic network for the community of Montabaur with its 24 local municipalities, located 100 km northwest of Frankfurt. The firm is also developing similar projects in other parts of Germany as well as in United States of America and Canada.