We had the pleasure of interviewing Wolfgang Heer, Managing Director, BUGLAS, ahead of next month’s Connected Germany, which is being held in Mainz on December 6-7 2022.

  1. Can you introduce yourself and your current role?

My name is Wolfgang Heer and I have been CEO of BUGLAS (federal association for optical fiber access in Germany) for more than ten years now. BUGLAS currently consists of more than 160 enterprises deploying and operating FTTB/H-networks all over Germany, mostly on local and regional basis. Suppliers are also an important part of our association. Furthermore, BUGLAS is Co-Founder and Member of European Local Fibre Alliance ELFA, which strives for more ambitious Fibre Goals on a European Level.

  1. How has fibre rollout progressed in Germany over the last year, and how much more needs to be done to hit government targets for FTTH networks?

In recent years, the fiber rollout in Germany has gained a lot of momentum – yet we are still not near the level needed to achieve the political goals in Germany. We also continue to lag behind in a European comparison. There is still a lot of room for improvement, especially in terms of FTTH. Corona has boosted the demand for a good connection but severe obstacles such as the shortage of skilled workers and resources lie in Germany’s path to a gigabit society.

  1. What impact will open access have on network deployment?

In our view, open access is clearly a key to nationwide fiber roll-out in Germany. It offers advantages for everyone: for the end customer, as it gives him the freedom to choose any ISP, for the infrastructure provider, who can increase the network utilization and refinance its investments faster, as well as for all service providers involved, who can concentrate on their services and marketing power and generate add value on the basis of efficient processes. Even the housing industry benefits as properties are upgraded with the best possible house networks and their tenants will be more satisfied. Overall, open access helps to avoid overbuilding of infrastructure and investments pay off faster which clearly accelerates further fiber roll-out. Last but not least Open Access can speed up the migration from copper to fibre networks. It is a win for everyone.

  1. What are you most looking forward to at Connected Germany?

Connected Germany has established itself as an important meeting place for the industry and once again gives us the opportunity to exchange ideas and learn how fibre deployment goes along in other countries. This exchange is particularly important and I look forward to it.

You can hear from Wolfgang and the rest of our amazing speaker line-up at this year’s Connected Germany – follow the link to secure your place!