Installation of a neutral municipal fiber optic network that reaches all homes, shops and industry
City/Region : Ermua (Ayuntamiento de Ermua) , Spain

This is a strategic city project in accordance with the municipal innovation strategy of the City of Ermua, which is committed to the diversification of the economic fabric and sustainable development as well as an improvement in the efficiency of municipal public services. It is also in accordance with the strategy defined by Rist 3 in terms of advanced industry 4.0, digital economy and commitment to social services. Investment and commissioning has been carried out throughout the municipality and fiber optic cables have just been installed in Mallabia. Gotondo polygon and wifi off load are pending.

Agendas addressed
Urban mobilitySocial inclusion and integrationLocal economies and employment
Pathways followed
  • Ensure equal access to municipal services
  • Involve citizens through participatory implementation
  • Encourage local private and civic engagement
  • Promote social innovation supporting inclusion
  • Capitalise on local economy and production
  • Create and close local value chains
  • Wisely select and apply smart technologies
  • Guarantee equal access to information & digital services
  • Support open data standards
  • Prepare policies for socio-cultural changes due to innovation
Edificio de gestion del conocimiento Izarra Centre

Ermua is an industrial municipality very dependent on the automotive sector, so in the strategy of innovation of the municipality of Ermua we have planned for innovation of this sector and for creating the conditions for the Rist line 3- Advanced industry 4.0 and innovation to be a reality in our municipality and environment, through optical fiber and the AIC (Automotive Intelligence Center) project. The IZARRA CENTER (a knowledge management building and business incubator) is also committed to attracting new companies and sectors such as digital economy, circular economy, big data, Internet of things, etc. Likewise, we are committed to entrepreneurship thanks to IZARRA CENTER and fiber optics.

Strategy Ermua

IZARRA CENTER knowledge management building and nursery

Neutral fiber optic network. FIBERMUA

AIC (Automotive Intelligence Center).

In Action
tendido red fibra óptica

In 2010, Ermua won the City of Science and Innovation award from the Ministry of Science and Innovation of the Government of Spain for its innovation strategy, which has enabled us to be in the network of innovative cities in Spain (Red innpulso) of which we form part of its governing council. In 2013 we obtained the renewal of this candidature whose document we also attach. In this strategy based on innovation, both organizational, economic, social and city, numerous agents participated and lent their support to our candidature. Among others were the following:


Several strategic projects were approved, among others the investment and implementation of a neutral fiber optic network that reaches all homes, shops and industries in Ermua and now also the municipality of Mallabia. All this is done through the public company of the City of Ermua Promosa for an approximate amount of 5 million Euros. The investments that will be carried out over the 2016-2017 period is about 400,000 Euros. The recovery of all this investment is expected through the acquisition of clients since the public company acts as a private investor. We already have 4 new operators, 1,000 residential customers, businesses and industries and rent dark fiber to companies like Vodafone and Orange. We have managed to attract 40 small businesses and 100 jobs to the Izarra Center building in sectors based on innovation, technology and circular economy.
The financing has been approximately 50% own resources, 50% long-term loans. In addition to the traditional operators that exist across Spain, in Ermua there are four other operators that operate through our network, thereby improving price, service and efficiency by having greater competition. Citizens, shops and businesses can choose from a greater number of operators offering different services. In addition, we will have a technological platform on which to support different smart projects that allow us to obtain more information to improve decision making (smart grids, security, social services, etc.)


In addition to the traditional operators that exist across Spain, in Ermua there are four other operators that operate through our network, thereby improving price, service and efficiency by having greater competition. Citizens, shops and businesses can choose from a greater number of operators offering different services. As for the internet service itself, there is a real fiber optic service which has increased the speed considerably and allowing services like videoconference, e-commerce, virtual stores (Orbea), services cloud, connectivity etc. The network is currently supporting internet services with 100 megabytes upload and 1000 megabytes download speeds, which is also scalable. Before this investment the services were operating at speeds of 1.5 mega upload and 20 megas download in the best case.
Currently we have 1,000 customers (homes, shops and companies) and rent dark fiber to Vodafone and Orange.
Both with this project and with the Izarra Center building we have attracted 40 small companies, 10 of which are entrepreneurs from sectors that otherwise Ermua would not have come with the corresponding jobs (approximately 100) and with the real possibilities of growth and future generation of jobs.
Technological infrastructure that will allow us from now on to promote smart projects (economy, socio-sanitary, smart grids, security) that allow the municipality to be more efficient and allow us to obtain contrasted and interrelated information to improve decision making. There have been improvements in competitiveness, productivity, generation of added value and impact on the economy of ICT (Strategic Lines of the Avanza Plan).
There are also reduced telecommunication bills with better service.




Attraction of 40 new small businesses and 100 new generation jobs in sectors based on innovation, digital economy, big data in IZARRA CENTER. Together with the industrial land promotion project (45,000 m2 building), it is committed to Industry 4.0 and generating 500-800 new jobs in Ermua and surroundings. Attraction of new industrial companies.
Improvement of the technology and telecommunications competitiveness of companies and businesses already located in Ermua and Mallabia.
Improved efficiency of public services with a greater reduction in the cost of telecommunications.
Deployment of a public technological platform on which we can implement sensors, technology, devices, etc. to improve decision making (transparency). All this is possible in different areas such as security, smart grids, monitoring of electricity services, social health services and monitoring and care of the elderly. Healthcare monitoring includes monitoring of chronic and pluripathological patients from their homes that allows the provision of socio-health services in a more efficient way, which is especially valuable in the context of an aging population.
All this is allowing us to define today the strategy of smart city Ermua 2020 that we attach and in which we identify different public projects of interaction of databases and of public-private collaboration that will be supported by the neutral network of optical fiber and that will enable integrated information services that will improve the decision making processes. All these decisions can be adopted from the technological independence by having the municipal fiber optic network infrastructure.
We have also attracted new customers, approximately 400 each year. 3000 new customers are expected by 2020. It would imply a market penetration share of approximately 50%.
It improves productivity and competitiveness as a consequence of the introduction of new technologies and public-private collaboration.

Challenges and lessons learned

It is essential to have a long-term strategy and, consequently, to prioritize scarce resources. There is a strong need for important political leadership and a solid technical team behind. It is about opening the way in projects until now unknown based on smart cities, smart grids, advanced industry. There is a need for organizational innovation and to step outside of your comfort zone, as well as a need to adapt to changing environments.

Optical fiber is a complex sector in which you have to compete with large companies with great experience in the sector. It is a sector where each operating company to date has undertaken its own investments.

Posibles usos fibra


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