NetCologne announces 1Gb/s service for 2010

De_dp I have been spending part of my week-end designing the specifications for a dataset that would allow me to identify the existence and importance of bandwidth hogs (or 'disruptive users' as I more politely call them in that document…) I have sent it for comments to two ISPs who responded favourably to my request for data and am waiting for their feedback.

Meanwhile, news in the world of FTTH deployment continues and the news today is from Germany. I won't comment on the final ruling concerning the regulatory holiday that Deutsche Telekom – with strong support from the German government – had been trying to obtain, Yves and Kostas have covered this extensively.

I will however comment on the announcement by NetCologne to launch 1Gb/s service for consumers in 2010. NetCologne currently offers FTTH service to 70 000 customers and businesses in Cologne, Germany and is planning a massive network upgrade to allow speeds of up to 1 Gb/s by next year. In the words of CEO Werner Hanf:

"The high speeds on our networks are already being used. Out of 70
000 customers, 10% already subscribe and regularly use the current maximum
speed of 100 Mbit/s.

NetCologne is a pretty amazing story. I remember hearing from them back in the late 90s when they started DSL service, and now they're serving over 26k buildings (234 000 dwellings) with the intention to expand that coverage to 30k buildings by 2013.

I can't imagine that DT looks at this and dismisses it as a minor phenomenon. Sure, 70k customers is only 7% of the population in Cologne and with a take rate of 30%, the FTTH network has ways to go, still. But at the same time, we're talking about the 4th largest city in Germany, an international center of business and industry (and I suspect the business customers to take fiber when they can…) it's not insignificant!

There were talks last year of collaborations, but I could never figure out if this was anymore than DT being allowed to lease fiber for their business customers. Well, in any case, NetCologne will now put Germany on the map as one of the few countries in Europe (alongside Sweden) where you can get 1 Gb/s service.