Polish operator Orange Polska (OPL) has partnered with pension fund management company APG for the deployment of fibre to the home (FTTH) in Poland through a 50-50 joint venture.
The co-owned company aims to support the rollout of fibre in Poland, notably in areas where access to very high-speed broadband infrastructure is limited or non-existent. The joint venture is valued at €605 million euros (about $774.3 million).
The partnership will operate under the name Światłowód Inwestycje. It aims by 2025 to build a fibre network reaching some 1.7 million households in less well-served areas.
The new fibre company will operate using an open access model providing wholesale access to its fibre network to OPL and other interested operators.
However, OPL is expected to be both a major customer and a major supplier for the fibre company, supplying a wide range of services including network construction management and maintenance, lease of elements of the network and other support services. OPL will guarantee network construction within a fixed budget.
The transaction that will bring about the new company is expected to close by the end of August 2021.
Orange Polska says that what it call this landmark partnership gives it the flexibility to reinforce its fibre rollout while also enabling immediate deleveraging.
OPL has also said that further fibre rollout in less well-served areas using this open access model will provide the best conditions for fast customer take-up and will allow it to monetise its fibre investments both in retail and wholesale operations.
The hope is that Światłowód Inwestycje will be Poland’s leading independent open access FTTH wholesale operator.