France has successfully been developing FTTH in metropolitan areas and especially in the greater
Paris region. Free market competition seems to work. Yet for the rural areas the Elysée seems to go looking for another model. The services of the French president Sarkozy are actively suggesting the leading players to agree upon a collaborative business model.
Orange, Free, SFR and Numéricable have been heard about their fibre roll-out plans for rural
France last week. They are invited to draft their plans, ambitions and concerns about putting up a joint effort for rolling out fibre to the so called ‘grey areas’. These are regions where free market dynamics would work in an established market, yet where the upfront investment burden is currently inhibiting adoption.
The French government is decided to speed up the fibre adoption using public funds from the ‘Caisse des Dépots’. Those investments will be supporting the country’s economic development. The Figaro article cites fibre as a driver for growth, employment and competitiveness for the following ten years.
The Elysée argues however that a joint initiative would dramatically reduce the total cost of connecting rural
France. With Sarkozy’s services directly involved the main players will at least be under strong pressure to align and accelerate their agendas.
Read more at Le Figaro (French only)
*These comments do not necessarily reflect the views of the FTTH Council Europe.