UPC Cablecom and UPC Austria will invest over €250 million in extending their cable network to 250,000 additional premises in Austria and Switzerland over the next five years.
Parent company Liberty Global supports the initiative as part of its new build investment programme. The first 50,000 homes will be connected with optical fibre cable in 2016.
“Today, we can already provide internet speeds of 500Mbps everywhere in our footprint. With the next generation of glass fibre cable technology, Gigasphere, we will be able to provide internet speeds of more than 1,000Mbps – or 1Gbps,” said Eric Tveter, CEO of the Austria/Switzerland regional organisation of Liberty Global.
Only one third of Austrian households and around half of Swiss households are currently covered by UPC’s own network. The company therefore sees large potential for growth. As part of the so called Autostrada programme, it will lay optical fibre cables in areas that are not yet connected to its network, but also in new municipalities, districts and building developments.
“With Autostrada we are closing geographical gaps in the existing network and increasing efforts to connect buildings and residential developments outside the existing footprint. This will allow more customers to benefit from the fastest internet and other UPC services in the future,” explained Tveter. “At the same time, it will enable us to better market products such as our 4G mobile service or expand Wi-Free, our Wi-Fi network.”
Besides the expansion of its own network, UPC is also focusing on strategic partnerships with municipalities and towns in addition to the acquisition of existing regional cable operators.