In 2017, the Liechtenstein government committed to guaranteeing internet connectivity of 1Gbps symmetric no later than 2023. The existing copper-based telephone wiring and CATV-networks could not meet this demand, so the Fibre to the Building (FTTB) strategy was developed. Liechtensteinische Kraftwerke (LKW), the national electric utility, have so far achieved a national coverage of 74%, and full coverage will be achieved by the end of 2022. The project was pre-selected for the finals by the jury of the European Broadband Awards 2022.
The old telephone and CATV networks of LKW will be turned off and decommissioned in a delayed parallel manner. Households and business customers must switch to a new fibre subscription within a defined timeframe of 12-18 months after installation of the FTTB for the respective building.
As a result of this coordinated migration, competition between the electronic communication service (ECS) providers has considerably increased performance of services at unchanged monthly price levels to the customer.
This project will guarantee a 100% coverage in Liechtenstein with glass fibre by the end of 2022. A full migration to fibre-based electronic communication services will be achieved by the end of 2023. To date, LKW have built more than 20,000 household connections. When the project is complete a total of 25,000 homes will be connected. Remote areas will have affordable access to telecommunication services. There will be competition on a range of services between ECS providers, yet no competition on the fibre optic infrastructure; just one net provider with regulated services and prices for the access to the fibre. This is because LKW will offer only the telecommunication network and not services. Therefore, all internet service providers can use the network under the same conditions, resulting in greater competitiveness amongst providers and a better deal for consumers.
Results and impact
The project covers 11 municipalities in mostly rural but also some small urban areas. It will serve 39,000 inhabitants in Liechtenstein spread across 160 km2, two thirds of which is uninhabitable mountain terrain.
Thanks to this project, there is now an easy and non-discriminatory access to the network, which enhances the attractiveness of Liechtenstein for its inhabitants and companies, providing higher quality of service and connectivity for international companies.
For more information visit the project website.