Glass fiber network cooperative Sterk Midden-Drenthe transferred to KPN

KPN and the cooperative Sterk Midden-Drenthe have agreed on the acquisition of the cooperative's fiber-optic network. The cooperative's council of members gave this its unanimous approval. The network consists of approximately 5,900 addresses and is located in the outer area of the municipality of Midden-Drenthe, consisting of 23 villages and hamlets. The acquisition is expected to be completed in November 2020. The network is and will remain an open network, accessible to various telecom providers. Nothing changes for the connected consumers or for the members of the cooperative. The current subscription for phone, internet and TV continues. KPN will also start offering services on the network in 2021. The parties have not disclosed any financial details.

"Since 2014, volunteers from the cooperative have worked extremely hard to get the network built,” says Henk van de Boer, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the cooperative Sterk Midden-Drenthe. “The acquisition by KPN is now a logical step, which ensures that our members can enjoy fast internet in the future. We have thereby achieved our goal. KPN, with its knowledge and expertise, is better able to manage and maintain the fiber network well in the future. That's why we are happy to transfer it, along with the employees."

Henk Jumelet, member of the Drenthe Provincial Executive: "Together with partners, the Province has been working in recent years to install broadband in Drenthe. We regard broadband as a basic provision, so we have supported the cooperative approach in the municipality of Midden-Drenthe. The installation of a fiber-optic network has now been made possible, thanks to the efforts of many volunteers and with a loan both from the Province and from the municipality of Midden-Drenthe. The fact that this network is now being taken over by a market party like KPN is an excellent development and a good thing for everyone involved."

Joost Steltenpool, director KPN Netwerk, adds, "KPN is rapidly modernizing its existing copper networks by replacing them with fiber-optic networks. As a result, we can provide our customers with high-speed internet and keep the Netherlands in the forefront of digitization. Whenever possible, we do this with others. The merger with Sterk Midden-Drenthe is a tremendous expansion of our fiber-optic network."

Fiber optic delivers better quality than the copper network and offers the fastest internet. It is the most stable technology because it uses light signals instead of electricity. As a result, the signal loses little to no speed during transmission. Fiber optic is also more energy-efficient. In the coming years, data growth will continue to expand rapidly, not only through ever more intensive internet use and the increasing number of devices, but also because of gaming, virtual reality and artificial intelligence, and because of applications in healthcare and schools.