Eurofiber, a Netherlands-based fiber infrastructure and connectivity provider in a number of European countries, said the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting its network construction in Belgium and France, although not in the Netherlands.
The group operates fiber optic networks in the three markets, and also maintains its own data centers in the Netherlands and France. Although it provided few other details, noting merely that government authorities have imposed restrictions on the delivery of new projects, the announcement highlights the effects of the pandemic on fiber rollout targets in some markets.
In France, for example, the InfraNum federation created to support France's broadband scheme "Plan Très Haut Débit," has called for government support to ensure fiber rollout targets are met. In a recent tweet, Philippe Le Grand, VP and treasurer of InfraNum, questioned whether 100% fiber was a realistic goal even for 2030, let alone 2022 or 2025.
For its part, Eurofiber seems confident it will be able to largely compensate for the financial consequences of the slowdown in construction over the course of 2020.
The group went on something of a shopping spree in 2019, snapping up French fiber connectivity providers Eurafibre and ATE and buying a 50% stake in Eura DC in November as well as further assets in the Netherlands, and forming new partnerships. This helped boost pro forma revenue in 2019 to €181 million ($196.7 million) from €153 million ($166 million) a year previously, while pro forma adjusted EBITDA rose from €91 million ($99 million) to €109 million ($118.5 million).
The Eurofiber group currently consists of Eurofiber and DCspine in the Netherlands and Belgium; Dataplace in the Netherlands; and Eurafibre, ATE and Eura DC in France.
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— Anne Morris, contributing editor, special to Light Reading