France announced a €20 billion spending on fibre networks a couple of months ago and now an agreement has been signed between France Telecom, SFR (Vivendi) and the lle-de-France that will see a full fibre to the premise (FTTH/FTTP) network rolled out to some 4.7 million households (89% of those in the lle-de-France region).
The deployment area comprises six counties in the region, but excludes the city of Paris, the six are Essonne, Seine et Marne, Seine-Saint Denis, Val de Marne, Val d'Oise and Yvelines. The city of Paris itself which is not covered has a population around the 2.2 million mark.
The roll-out appears to be a mixture of commercial and public funding, with the aim to have completed this roll-out by 2020. Compared to announced plans in the UK it far outreaches what any operator or the Government or those in oppossition have announced as plans moving forward for the UK.
Can anyone imagine in the UK an agreement between BT and Virgin Media to roll-out their own FTTH solution in some areas, sharing infrastructure in other areas and then working with local authorities in the less commercially viable areas? The outcry of the state lining the two operators pockets would be enormous, perhaps more so than the current complaints about how the BDUK projects are working out.