Leer (dpa/lni) - The expansion of the fibre optic network in the city of Leer continued on Thursday. The infrastructure project is to provide 2900 households and business locations in the southwest of the city with fast internet. "This fibre optic expansion is another important step for the comprehensive broadband development in the city of Leer," said Mayor Beatrix Kuhl (CDU). Since 2018, the district of Leer and the municipalities belonging to the district have already been investing in the expansion of the fibre-optic infrastructure. The project partner is Glasfaser Nordwest, a joint venture founded last year by Telekom Deutschland and EWE AG. Altogether, the companies want to connect up to 1.5 million households and businesses in the northwest to the fast fibre-optic internet in the next few years and invest around two billion euros in the project. The Broadband Atlas for 2020 published by the Federal Ministry of Transport puts Lower Saxony in fifth place among the territorial states in terms of gigabit availability in households, behind Schleswig-Holstein, North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.