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So much happening - so little time to sort it all out.

Klaus von Neumann writes from Germany:

On February 6 the Municipality of Cologne issued a press release, stating Oberbuergemeister Herr Dr. Schramma’s happiness with the start of DTag rolling out a hybrid fiber-VDSL network in his city.

Says Schramma here : “This DTAG project strengthen’s Koeln’s position as a leading media center. The project will have a positive influence on employment, specially for Small and Medium Enterprises in the sectors of Media, Technology, Information Management and IT services. For this reason the City of Koeln has supported and given guidance from day one.”

Big fun, because there’s of course as well the FttH roll out by that competitive (and market leader) telco in Koeln, NetCologne. Which is 100% owned by GEW AG, which is 100% owned by Stadtwerke Koeln, which is 100% owned by the Municipality of Koeln (might MMF, Municipal Matryoshka Fiber, be an adequate description? ;-) COOK’s Edge: matryoshka being of course a reference to the nested Russian dolls.

Klaus: On 3 july 2006 the roll out of NetCologne’s FttH network started. In their press release they describe that digging and connecting starts in Koeln’s inner city. NetCologne will connect 115,000 MDU’s and commercial building, which happens to be 57% of all 203,000 buildings in Koeln.

And now for the fun: guess to whom the honor fell to hold the first spade at NetCologne day one digging? Of course, to no one other than Oberbuergemeister Herr Dr. Schramma, who could be considered the network’s owner.

Who is quoted in that same press release as proudly having said: “The roll out of the new network strengthens Koeln’s position as a leading Media Center and it creates new employment as well”.

That Herr Dr. Schramma sports a moustache as well as an hard to hide smile is quite understandable: his city is well ahead on Paris (or Amsterdam) to become the fixed connection capital of Europe.

Now a fast forward to 15 August 2006, to the newsticker where one learns that our Oberbuergemeister is courted to receive a big, big windfall…

Apax has expressed an interest in acquiring Netcologne and M-net

The private equity firm Apax is aiming to make further acquisitions on the German telecommunications market. “The industry is still highly fragmented, split up into mobile-network operators, fixed-network operators and resellers such as AOL. This implies that a broad range of deals and variants is possible,” Torsten Krumm, telecommunications expert at Apax, told the German business daily Handelsblatt.

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