Deutsche Telekom is testing Germans’ desire for FTTH as it looks to beef up its broadband network.

The operator said it planned to focus FTTH deployments in smaller towns such as Bad Staffelstein, where it is assessing the appetite of residents for pure-fibre broadband.

A minimum of 750 orders from people in the town is required before it will commit to delivering the next-gen technology by the end of 2018. Bad Staffelstein has a population of around 10,000.

Niek Jan van Damme, Head of Deutsche Telekom's business operations in Germany, said a similar initiative it undertook in 2011 revealed demand was too low for it to justify rolling out the technology.

“We’re hoping for a better response this time around,” he added.

Similar “pre-marketing” tests will happen in Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Saxony, and Thuringia early next year.

Deutsche Telekom had 5.4 million customers signed up to fibre-based broadband services at 30 September, although this includes those relying on FTTC as well as FTTH technology.

The operator does not break out how many premises it passes currently with pure fibre.

Germany’s biggest broadband provider is coming under pressure from rival Vodafone, which announced in September that it is investing up to €2 billion on rolling out FTTH across the country over the next four years.

Citing the 40,000km of fibre optic cable it is laying this year, and another 60,000km in 2018, van Damme said: "While everyone else is busy announcing their plans, we are already putting in the work across all of Germany."

However, the exec warned that FTTH deployments would still be “heavily dependent” on regulatory incentives.

“We are doing everything we can to equip Germany with vital state-of-the-art broadband infrastructure needed for digitisation,” he said.

“But our competitors, the regulators, and the policy-makers must also do their bit."

Read more: FTTH costs are coming down, but Australia provides a reality check

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