Kabel Deutschland (KDG), Germany’s largest cable network operator, has announced plans to connect all of its larger regional headends to a glass fibre backbone.
The use of the backbone will also allow KDG to continue with its analogue satellite offering after April 2012, when analogue channels from Astra at 19 degrees East are scheduled to close, KDG then converting the digital signals to the analogue format. KDG will also drop its use of the Astra satellite at 23.5 degrees East, which has been used to distribute signals to German cable since the days of the Kopernikus craft.
SES-Astra has been aware of the move for some time and has been developing the 23.5 East position in the Benelux and Central & East Europe markets.
In a statement, KDG said the cableco would now be able to handle all of the future requirements of a modern TV and telecommunications network and be able to increase its technological competitiveness with other networks and infrastructures.
As part of the first step, smaller networks that are adjacent to the larger cable networks will be merged, changing the layout of analogue television and radio channels, before applying the programme order of the larger network. KDG is warning customers there may be a brief interruption to the reception of analogue channels and that a rescan may be required.