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France Telecom detail their 40% FTTH coverage plans by 2015
Friday 04 February 2011 11:31:48 by John Hunt

France Telecom will bring fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) to over 15 million households in France by 2020, and the company hope to reach 10 million by 2015. Two billion Euros of investment between 2010 and 2015 will allow it to reach this target which equates to almost 60% of households by 2020. The network will span over 3,600 French 'communes' and will include all large and medium sized towns and cities.

Areas not to receive fibre-to-the-home will get an intermediary solution such as fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) or satellite based broadband through cooperation with local authorities to ensure that all areas are connected to faster broadband.

"I am very pleased to be able to reaffirm and even reinforce our ambitions regarding very high-speed broadband networks as part of a drive to provide the entire French population with access to high-quality digital services. This commitment clearly illustrates the new dynamic that Orange has embarked upon since the launch of our Conquests 2015 project. To achieve this ambition, we have mobilized our staff and our expertise as a network operator with a view to consolidating our market position in France and making the most of the growth potential that this network can offer for the year's to come. This will be done within a spirit of openness with regards to our environment and to other operators."

Stéphane Richard, (Chief Executive Officer) France Telecom-Orange

This news from France may make some wonder why in a much larger country such as France, a smaller investment (€2 billion) when compared with BT's investment (£2.5 billion) will breed much more fibre-to-the-home coverage than we will see here in the UK. BT made a commitment to reach 2.5 million homes (10% of households) with FTTH by 2012 and cover 66% of the country with a combined FTTC/FTTH network, although the majority of that will still connect using copper phone lines to cabinets. The French obviously understand the advantages of deploying fibre direct to homes through their commitment to do this and it is interesting that they can achieve this at a much more affordable cost than we can in the UK.

Comments

Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
Do FT do wholesale?
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
It is interesting yes, but surely the cost is all down to what is already there? Have FT already got ducting to the homes or is their set-up like for like with the UK?
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
Although France is a bigger country I believe its population is more concentrated ie the area you need to cover to hit 60% population is smaller. They also have more flats than we do.

It isn't clear to me that the £2bn is the whole cost of the FTTH either.
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
"The group aims to deploy its fibre-optic networks in 3,600 French communes by 2015. These will be spread across 220 places including all large and medium-sized towns or cities."
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
The commune is the lowest level of administrative division in the French Republic. There are 36,000 of them. French communes have no exact equivalent in the United Kingdom, but are closest to parishes, towns or cities.
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
That's what BT should have chosen to do. FTTC is a great solution for remote communities. As the news item says - how come it's so cheap?
Posted by themanstan over 6 years ago
It's cheap because you have upwards of 20 families living in most blocks of flats in France (some you've got 80 odd in their larger 20 floor, 4 per floor specials). You simply don't get this level of concentration of people in the UK. This simplifies the logistics and costs immeasurably.
Posted by themanstan over 6 years ago
But more importantly and addressed in other media about this scheme, "It added that it will cooperate with other interested network operators by offering access solutions as set-out in the regulatory framework. In particular, the group will offer co-investment solutions." There are existing co-investments... this is what makes everything so cheap in France. It reduces duplication of networks and allows a higher quality investment in the first place.
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
they also have about 5% takeup, apparently, so the cost of passing homes is incurred with only a small part of the cost of hooking them up.
Posted by docki over 6 years ago
I did a FTTC campaign for BT and took my 1900 signatures and projected revenue based on everyone taking the basic £20.25 a month package ( which is around 46K a month) and they turned me down!

WTF is wrong with you BT! You just announced quarter profits for 5 Billion +!

WHY does spending 33K to fibre this area seem so much when you are going to get around 640K return on a year!

I wish I lived in France! infact I might just do that!
Posted by docki over 6 years ago
Oh yes BT told me that unless a line supports 15mpbs or greater they won't do FTTC. BUT if that was the case we wouldn't need it!

Its meant to replace is it not!?
Posted by themanstan over 6 years ago
@Docki
£5B turnover, with ~£530m profits before tax. If they had £5Bh profits they could FTTH the whole of the UK in less than a decade, reduce their debt to zilch and give nice dividends back to their investors.
Posted by docki over 6 years ago
Sorry did I read wrong when TBB put £5,038 Million?
Posted by themanstan over 6 years ago
it's revenue they quote... they're actually working hard at the moment to reduce debt, down over 10%... Down to £8.7B, compare that to ~£5.8 for VM on a revenue stream of £1B. Probably the reason why VM upgrades network, but doesn't roll-out to new areas much. Too much debt to service.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
So reading the comments above comparing UK to France is not Apples with Apples then. Which is why their 2 billion euros goes further than our 2.5 billion quid
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
Here's a handy hint to all would be entrepreneurs:Don't confuse turnover with profit unless your VCs have deep pockets :)
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
Couldn't do that in the UK anyway, people would complain about the digital divide being widened as the telco is deploying fibre in cities and urban conurbations while not deploying FTTF.

FT do have some advantages, doesn't change that with a few relatively minimal changes BT could do similar however they have set out their course with the FTTC deployments.
Posted by NilSatisOptimum over 6 years ago
Never heard of Rip of Britain, When the French are unhappy we all know about. Here in the UK we divide ourselves From North to South, the various classes even our accents. Run to our castles sit in our arm chairs, safe in the knowledge that I'm alright Jack!!!!!
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
Thanks for that interesting social commentary. :)
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
some sane figures, FT can do 40% of france a larger country with 2 billion euros, whilst BT quote 10s of billions for similiar here :)
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
to herdwick the uk is more concentrated than france but nevertherless BT are ignoring some heavy concentrated areas anyway and doing villages and towns ahead of cities.
Posted by otester over 6 years ago
@chrysalis

BT have to take competition and subsidies into account.
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
@Chrysalis Those areas I guess aren't considered by BT to be good prospects for profit. Areas with extremely low incomes and high levels of deprivation aren't good targets for higher cost services.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
chrysalis , did you read any of the comments? Its not a like for like comparison
Posted by themanstan over 6 years ago
I guess Chrysalis has never been to France and seen the suburbs of the larger cities.... the concentration is over the overall area of the country, however what you need to consider is that urban and suburban concentration are double in France vs UK.
Posted by themanstan over 6 years ago
go on the Eurostar and you'll see row after row of high-rise flats going for mile after mile... 20k people/km2 in Paris vs London 12k, 100 sq km vs 600 sq km, Paris 2 million vs 7.5... It's apples vs melons. If you take the simple stats for area vs population you make the same simple costing mistakes the politicians do
Posted by SimonWindsor over 6 years ago
It is very easy to to criticise BT or praise FT, but what no one knows is the criteria that BT are using for for rolling out FTTC/FTTH.

FT has specified population density as the criteria, but BT has not.

For example I live in North Bristol, and my local exchange (Almondsbury) serves over 9K subscribers, and has been ignored; despite the high density of housing. My local cabinet is one of three adjacent BT cabinets that must server 2-3K homes, surly these three cabintes could support a FTTC connection and lift local BBS from 1Mbs to 30+Mbs.

Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
point taken on urban density, although some inner cities here are lot of flats. my point been tho that BT probably could reduce their rollout costs here but out of their own choice (in respect to how wealthy the area is) they are going for less dense areas out of choice.
Posted by themanstan over 6 years ago
@SimonWindsor

I think BT are trying to placate everyone (urban/suburban/rural) and pleasing no one... If they had s structured roll-out people could complain properly, but at least understand the principle of their roll-out. As it stands, there is no ryhme or reason to roll-out selection.
Posted by RufusGreenbaum over 6 years ago
Why not wireless from the cabinet to the house ?
- saves laying new fibre

Alvarion offers a system that even offers wireless from the exchange to the home

.
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
The problem with wireless is that it's not particularly dependable - it's the first thing people assume has failed if their laptop loses a connection. No self-respecting gamer would use it. Speed test sites always advice you to test with a wired connection.

Then you have the problem that it's a shared medium. You'd have hundreds of homes sharing the downstream bandwidth and hundreds of homes competing for the upstream channels.
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
Wireless offers convenience and/or mobility and in really remote areas it'll get the job done when nothing else will. That's about all you can say for it.
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
Just popping into this one again I'm taking it that no-one thought about how ridiculous the proposition of covering 15 million homes for 2bln euro is?

Over to Benoit Felten... http://www.fiberevolution.com/2011/02/the-orange-miracle.html
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