It was the first project of its kind in germany and new territory for the town of pottenstein and deutsche telekom: the "pottenstein burger network" for the broadband expansion of fast internet to every house in the 33 pottenstein villages. In the main town of pottenstein, or more precisely in the lower town, mayor stefan fruhbeiber (CWU/UWV) and his deputy roland lang (BU), together with representatives of the construction company and telekom, gave the go-ahead for the start of operations. As of now, the lower town and the suburb of puttlach are bookable with fast internet. The special thing about the burger network is that the city, and not the network operator, acts as the developer, who then also owns the fiber optic lines. After a call for tenders to find an operator, telekom made the best offer. The telecommunications company is now leasing the city’s lines for an initial period of twelve years. Total costs amount to around 11.5 million euros. Originally, the cost was expected to be around ten million euros. The main reason for the increase in costs is "the fact that pottenstein is stinking rich", says fruhbeiber – in the truest sense of the word: because some excavation work in the rocky subsoil required more time and therefore also led to more costs.
However, there is a unique requirement. Thanks to the federal broadband expansion program, pottenstein will receive 50 percent of the total costs as a subsidy. The so-called "farm program the free state of bavaria originally envisaged an additional lump-sum payment of 890.000 euros before. But fruhbeiber was able to negotiate cleverly. The state quadrupled its original demand, which is why the city itself now only has to raise around 2.2 million euros from its own funds. This corresponds to a subsidy rate of about 80 percent of the total costs. Negotiations on a higher demand took place at the ministry of home affairs in nurnberg. "I had almost taken up my second residence in nurnberg", smiles fruhbeiber. The investment will have paid for itself in around 40 years through the leasing of the pipeline network.
Tree removals were also delayed by the corona crisis. When the borders were closed, neither workers from eastern europe nor materials came to the construction sites in pottenstein. Then there were also supply bottlenecks for materials. In pottenstein, 325 houses, corresponding to around 600 households, are now connected to the high-speed internet. Customers can book internet speeds of up to 250 megabits per second for downloads and up to 40 mbit/s for uploads, explains friedrich weinlein, telekom’s technical officer. "The new network is so powerful that working and studying at home, video conferencing, watching tv, surfing and streaming are all possible at the same time", adds enrico delfino, regional manager of telekom. However, there is no automatic changeover. Customers must book the tariff they want themselves with telekom. The remaining parts of the village are now to be connected as quickly as possible. In tuchersfeld, synergy effects are currently being exploited because the new water pipeline is being laid there. That is why there is no need for extra digging. Fruhbeiber expects high-speed internet to be available in the first quarter of 2021 in the locations that are still missing.