France Telecom in Fibre to the Home trials in France
Fibre to the Home (FTTH) is regarded as the pinnacle of broadband access for households, offering the possibility of bandwidth far in excess of what ADSL and ADSL2+ can achieve. British Telecom has had a trial running for a while (see our news archive for August 2005), but over the English Channel, France Telecom have announced plans to trial FTTH in several thousand Paris households. The pilot is expected to start in 2006, with coverage to other regions by 2007. See informitv.com for more information.
The main difference with the France Telecom news is that it looks more like a product trial as the pre-cursor to a much larger roll-out, than the limited trial BT are running. At this time there is not even any tentative timetable for fibre becoming a common connection method for households in the UK. The much vaunted 21st Century Network from BT is at this time focused on the core network. While any fibre roll-out is going to be an expensive process, it has the scope for future proofing the local loop for some years to come.