Orange, SFR to bring optical networks beyond big cities

Pascale Paoli-Lebailly ©RapidTVNews | 17-11-2011

France Telecom-Orange and SFR have signed an agreement to deploy optical fibre outside very densely-populated areas of France.
This fibre development plans aim at covering 11 million households and both partners will work together in the agglomerations where their projects are redundant, and which represent 9.8 million households. Under the agreement, SFR will serve 2.3 million of these households and France Telecom-Orange will serve 7.5 million for a total investment cost of €5 billion.
“The agreement solidifies the two group’s deployment goals. It designates the operator responsible for deployment in each commune in a way that ensures the best deployment schedule and network coverage with regards to the interests of consumers and local authorities,” a joint statement explained.
To offer diversified services to all consumers, such as IPTV, Orange and SFR have committed to maintain a commercial presence in the areas covered by the agreement, each buying wholesale services from the group that will ultimately deploy the local network. Other market players will also be able to obtain access to the infrastructure deployed by either operator, including through co-financing projects, for their own very high-speed broadband offers.
When including deployment in very densely-populated areas, fibre will reach nearly 60% of all French households by 2020.
The French State plans fibre to reach 100 % of the French households covered by 2025. The total amount is estimated to a €24 billion investment.