France Telecom-Orange makes progress in FTTH deployments
France Telecom-Orange has issued its FTTH fibre-optic network offer for third-party operator access outside very dense areas of the region.
The company’s announcement also includes an agreement with Free (lliad Group) concerning fibre deployment in these areas to aid high-speed broadband roll-out, due to begin in 2011 and 2012. Investments in the French broadband market is part of France Telecom’s long-term strategy in which the company aims to spend up to €2 billion by 2015 to bring fibre-optic networks to 3600 French municipilaties, covering 10 million homes by 2015, and 5 million more by 2020.
The French government recently requested detailed information on the group’s plans to invest in high-speed broadband and this announcement serves as a response to that.
As part of its wholesale strategy, France Telecom presented this offer to ARCEP, the French regulator and it has been submitted to principal FTTH operators. Very densely populated areas in France include all medium-sized towns and this offer will enable the mutualisation of networks outside dense areas, and also gives the end-user the license to choose the service provider they prefer.
The agreement with Free covers a total of 1300 municipalities, equating to 5 million homes by 2020, and both companies hope to begin the deployment of fibre by the end of this year. France Telecom-Orange confirmed it is actively seeking similar agreements with interested operators.