Barcelona to become the first city in Spain fully wired with optical fibre
Spanish multinational telecommunications company Telefónica will offer Internet access through optical fibre to every home in Barcelona before the summer. The company’s General Director in Catalonia, Kim Faura, has also explained that Telefónica has hired 1,300 people to carry out the operation.
Barcelona (ACN).- Spanish multinational telecommunications company Telefónica has announced it will offer Internet access through optical fibre wire to every home in Barcelona before the summer. The Catalan capital would become the first large city in Spain to have every home connected with optical fibre. Telefónica’s General Director in Catalonia, Kim Faura, announced on Monday that the Spanish company has hired 1,300 people to implement the plan. However, Faura did not give a specific investment figure. Currently, 48% of Barcelona homes are offered access to the Internet though an optical fibre connection. Before the end of June, Telefónica would increase it to 100% and offer their clients Internet access with a 100 MB broadband capacity, explained Faura. He made this announcement coinciding with the visit of Barcelona’s Mayor, Xavier Trias, to one of the company’s call centres. Trias said that Telefónica’s news “fits in with the city’s priorities” to focus on new technologies and on being the world’s mobile capital in its own right.
Before July, Telefónica will have connected every Barcelona city street and will offer all neighbours the possibility to connect with its optical fibre network. Therefore, Barcelona will become the first large city in Spain to be fully wired with optical fibre, and one of the first cities in Europe. The company’s General Director in Catalonia, Kim Faura, explained that every Barcelona home would have the possibility to benefit from a 100 MB Internet connection and could tune in to HD and 3D Internet TV.
Faura also explained that this initiative would create 1,300 new jobs. The new employees would carry out the installation work. Faura added that most of these jobs demand highly qualified workers, such as engineers and specialised vendors. He also stated that the company’s plan is to continue the optical fibre expansion in many other Catalan cities and towns, if the legislation provides some stimulus. If this happens, most of these jobs would be maintained. Furthermore, there are still two main obstacles for the optical fibre expansion. Firstly, Internet access through optical fibre is still more expensive (€39.90 per month) than ADSL (€19.90 and €29.90). Secondly, the installation of optical fibre wire within a building is often a difficult job.
Faura stressed that Telefónica has a commitment to Barcelona, where it recently unveiled its new headquarters in Catalonia, located in an impressive tower at the Diagonal Mar area. Faura said that Telefónica has 4,000 direct employees in the Catalan capital, and provide for an additional 2,000 indirect jobs. Furthermore it runs 700,000 mobile phone lines.
The Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, visited a Telefónica call centre in the Catalan Capital on Monday and thanked the multinational’s commitment to the Catalan capital. He also spoke about Telefónica’s support in helping Barcelona become the Mobile World Capital, organising the world’s main mobile phone and technology industry trade fair. However, Trias insisted that being the Mobile World Capital does not only mean organising a trade fair in the city, but also having the adequate infrastructure in place. Barcelona becomes “a leading centre” for new technologies. The Mayor of Catalonia’s capital has stressed that this technology can significantly improve the lives of residents.