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France Telecom to spend €2bn on fibre network by 2015

12 февраля 2010

France Telecom will restart investing in fiber optics in France after the group had put investments in the rollout of the ultra high-speed Internet network on hold last summer pending regulatory clarification.

In a statement, the French telecoms giant said it will spend EUR2 billion between now and 2015 in fiber optics in France.

The group last June froze its investments in fiber optics after telecoms regulator Arcep called for the adoption of the multifiber solution in large cities, a different technology than initially promoted by France Telecom.

The company already invests almost EUR3 billion each year in its network and infrastructure.

"With this new program, the group is not planning any substantial change to the amount that it will invest in France, where a large proportion is, and will continue to be, allocated to the modernization and maintenance of its network and service infrastructure," France Telecom said in a statement.

The company added that it will begin extending the fiber optics network this year to new cities such as Cannes, Montpellier, Orleans, Rennes, Strasbourg and Toulon.

France Telecom's announcement comes a few weeks after the French government in January announced plans to provide EUR2 billion to improve the country's high-speed Internet networks and said it would make a series of low-interest loans to telecommunications groups to encourage them to develop fiber-optic networks outside major cities.

France Telecom said it will be open to different forms of co-investment with other operators in some areas.

Telecommunications operators are already deploying fiber-optic networks in heavily built-up areas, such as Paris. But they have been slow to extend these to the provinces.

Under the proposed system, telecommunications groups France Telecom, Vivendi SA's SFR and Iliad SA are encouraged to invest together to build out local fiber-optic networks.

France Telecom and SFR have already signed an agreement to test a joint fiber-optic rollout in medium-sized cities.

Earlier Wednesday, French broadband provider Iliad said it plans to join its rivals' agreement to test a joint rollout of next generation fiber-optic networks in some French cities.

France had about 255,000 ultra high-speed broadband subscribers at the end of September 2009, according to Arcep.


Источник: Total Telecom

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