Monaco Telecom (MT) has earmarked the end of next year for its copper shutdown date.

It comes as the Monegasque telco nears 100 percent fiber coverage.

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The move to phase out its aging copper network is one that many broadband providers and telcos have adopted in recent years, with fiber providing a much quicker alternative.

MT has been working on its fiber network deployment since 2019, with the company noting that its copper network uses equipment and infrastructure that is no longer available, meaning it's open to risk of sudden failure.

"The copper shutdown project is an essential step in the Principality's digitization project as desired by the Prince's Government," says MT on the website of its copper network shutdown, adding that it can no longer meet the needs of its users.

As part of its copper switch-off, residential and business xDSL broadband connections will be switched off in December 2023 and July 2024, respectively, while copper-based fixed voice services will go from December 2024.

“It is not just a project for the operator, it is a national issue, just as the introduction of the 377 country dialing code was in its time. The inevitable switch-off of the copper network should be seen as an opportunity, as it is another step towards the digitization of our country, and addresses two important current issues, namely purchasing power and energy efficiency," said Martin Péronnet, chief executive of Monaco Telecom.

Despite the progress MT has made with its fiber rollout, 900 households and 2,300 businesses are still served by xDSL connections, while around 6,000 residential fixed voice lines and nearly 1,550 telephone exchanges of business and administrative departments, plus some remote M2M solutions, still use the copper network.

Its copper cabling network spans 750km across the Principality, and will eventually be removed.

Across Europe, the likes of Telenor, Telefónica, WightFibre, BT/OpenReach, and Orange and shutting down legacy copper networks.

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