Schwedt/Oder, 15 February 2021 – SPIE, the independent European leader in multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications, has been commissioned by Stadtwerke Schwedt, the market leader in the areas of energy and telecommunications in the Uckermark region, to implement a complete fibre optic cable network including distributors to 1,600 households, public facilities and business premises. The project, funded by the federal and state governments as well as the district, began following a public tender last summer and is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
Broadband expansion in full swing
To enable rural areas in the Uckermark region to keep up with digitalisation, Stadtwerke Schwedt was awarded the contract to expand the broadband network in the town on the River Oder. By the end of this year, up to 1,600 end customers are expected to benefit from gigabit-capable Internet – including private households, businesses and the schools in Schwedt. The utilities company commissioned SPIE Deutschland & Zentraleuropa, the German subsidiary of SPIE, to put the associated infrastructure in place. The multi-technical service provider has already dug more than 25 kilometres of cable trench, laid over 33 kilometres of empty conduit and set up the associated distributors. “In the next phase, the fibre optic cables will be put in. At the same time, we will connect the distributor stations that carry the optical signal to the service connections in the homes or establishments. Once this work is completed, the signal can be activated relatively quickly,” explained Jörg Masuch, the responsible project manager at SPIE Deutschland & Zentraleuropa. By the end of last year, around 300 service connections had been prepared and 13 new distributors and sizeable engineering sites set up as part of the funded project. It proved possible to connect the first public facility to the fibre optic network in December last year, with the Gauss Gymnasium (grammar school) in Schwedt being the beneficiary. Now, a high-speed product from Stadtwerke Schwedt provides the students and teachers with the full bandwidth at 1,000 Mbit per second for convenient surfing and streaming.
A reliable, long-standing partnership
“There is still a lot to do to reach the point where it is possible to surf at the speed of light, so to speak, in all of the households that were previously underserved. That is why we are delighted to have a highly capable and reliable partner like SPIE that also has good knowledge of the area of supply from previous joint projects,” said Stefan Döring, the project manager responsible for broadband expansion at Stadtwerke Schwedt.
SPIE has been involved in work on the electricity and gas supply network in Schwedt continuously since the mid-1990s – and later started working on projects concerning Internet provision and cable TV networks, too. As a result, the multi-technical service provider is very familiar with the region and knows exactly what is required. “Here we are working in the sensitive Lower Oder Valley conservation area in which there are also flora-fauna habitats, which are European nature and landscape protection areas, as well as a large number of areas protected for their heritage value. Besides the complex and rapid course of action, this requires very extensive, high-quality documentation,” said Jörg Masuch, describing the challenges for his 50-strong team on the ground.
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