Hungary’s dominant telecoms operator Magyar Telekom (MTel) plans to scale back the pace of its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) rollout programme due to the current economic slowdown. The operator’s deputy chief executive officer Janos Winkler told local press that the company has revised downwards its original target of 200,000 homes by 35,000 to 165,000 after the recession hit last October. Winkler notes it costs MTel about HUF50,000 (USD260) per household to connect each home to the FTTH network, and that although it had already made the service available to over 120,000 households, the company only expects to have 17,000 subscribers signed up by the end of this year. ‘We plan 17,000 sales by the end of the year, which is very low, about 10% (of total connections), and I think even this [projection] is ambitious,’ he said. Last year MTel, a unit of Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, said it intended to invest HUF40 billion between 2009 and 2013 on its next generation fibre and cable networks to provide faster broadband access to more than 780,000 households. However, the country is enduring its worst economic recession in nearly 20 years.
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