Swedish open fibre network operator IP-Only has reached an agreement with the Municipal Council of Berg to acquire the local fibre network serving the municipality, situated in Jamtland County in northern Sweden, from utility operator Bergs Tingslags Elektriska (BTEA). The purchase agreement included a pledge from IP-Only to invest at least SEK150 million (USD16.73 million) in broadband network expansion in Berg, a company press release disclosed, adding that IP-Only expects to offer fibre connectivity to 95% of households there by the end of 2018.
Its latest municipal takeover forms part of IP-Only’s fibre expansion in Jamtland (population around 127,000), where it previously established its presence via the acquisition of the telecoms business of Jamtkraft in November 2015, earmarking SEK600 million investment for a project to expand fibre in three municipalities in the county previously served by Jamtkraft, namely: Ostersund (population around 60,000), Krokom and Are. On a wider scale, IP-Only operates a national fibre transmission network with international links, and a growing number of urban fibre networks, all based on open/neutral communications network operating models. Its website map shows IP-Only has deployed local fibre access networks in 44 areas spread across Sweden from far-south to north. Since its mid-2013 takeover by Swedish private investment group EQT, IP-Only has set its sights on consolidation in the Metro Area Network (MAN) market; there are over 150 independent MANs in Sweden, the majority owned by municipalities.