KPN replaces telephone exchanges for street cabinets
15,000 square meters available for housing
KPN has dismantled 20 telephone exchanges and transferred them to their new owners. In line with our circular ambitions, as many materials as possible have been reused. This has freed up 15,000 square meters for housing and business premises. Nearly 200 new homes will be created in municipalities including Amsterdam, Berkel en Rodenrijs, Zwolle and Eindhoven.
The 20 telephone exchanges have been replaced by (fiber) street cabinets or Point of Presence (PoP) stations. A street cabinet only takes up a few square meters and a PoP just 15 square meters. This reduces the surface area used by more than 98%. KPN will transfer many more exchanges to new owners in the years ahead, making them available for the housing market and paving the way for further power consumption savings.
Wouter Stammeijer, Chief Technology & Digital Officer and member of the KPN Board of Management: “We have installed fiber at approximately four million addresses now, which has given our customers super-fast and stable internet. However, fiber also has the big advantage of needing less energy and space. Transferring ownership of the old-fashioned telephone exchanges frees up space for housing and generates significant energy savings for us too.”
Energy savings equal to power consumption by 500 households
Huge power consumption savings stand to be made from the introduction of the fiber street cabinets and PoP stations. In the 20 locations in question, KPN will save approximately 1,400 MWh of electricity per year, about the same as the annual electricity consumption of about 500 households.
Telephone exchanges are technical areas that house a cable cellar, main junction box, telecom equipment, battery rooms and big cooling systems. A lot of work has to be done before a telephone exchange can be transferred to a third party. KPN does this very carefully and ensures that a circular approach is used when dismantling the exchanges. Almost all the metals are repurposed. For example, the copper used in the network is processed by recognized recyclers and then reintroduced into the market as a raw material for reuse.
Fiber rollout at full speed
KPN is installing fiber on a large scale. The national copper network is being replaced by a nationwide fiber network, so that customers can always rely on the best quality internet, telephony and TV service. By the end of 2026, KPN wants to be able to provide fiber to approximately 80% of the Netherlands in partnership with Glaspoort. In places where fiber is available and customers have been transferred to it, KPN is taking the copper network out of service. In February, KPN announced that it would be setting this process in motion at more than 2.1 million addresses. The replacement of telephone exchanges by street cabinets is a logical follow-up to this development.
Note to editors:
The 20 telephone exchanges are in Aalten, Amsterdam, Badhoevedorp, Berkel en Rodenrijs, Best, Bunnik, Dordrecht, Dronten, Eindhoven, Hendrik Ido-Ambacht, Hoevelaken, Leusden, Nijkerk, Nijverdal, Nuenen, Sint-Oedenrode, Son en Breugel, Valkenswaard, Waalre and Zwolle.
This is what it looks like: a disused telephone exchange in the background and the street cabinet that has replaced it in the foreground. The photo was taken in Leusden.