Monday, November 14, 2011

France Telecom-Orange and SFR Sign FTTH Deal

France Telecom-Orange and SFR signed an agreement covering the deployment of optical fiber outside very densely-populated areas of France. The deal helps to eliminate overlap between the companies' respective fiber rollouts.

Of the 11 million households outside very dense areas that are covered by the fiber deployment plans drawn-up by France Telecom-Orange and SFR, 9.8 million are in agglomerations where both operators have redundant deployment projects. Under this agreement, SFR will serve 2.3 million of these households and France Telecom-Orange will serve 7.5 million. The companies said their agreement designates who will be responsible for deployment in each community in a way that ensures the best deployment schedule and network coverage with regards to the interests of consumers and local authorities.

In line with the conditions set-out by the French regulator ARCEP, 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.

The parties also agreed to complete the rollouts within five years after deployment has started.

The companies now calculate that in total, including deployment in very densely-populated areas, fiber will reach nearly 60% of all French households by 2020, thanks to private-operator investment.

  • In July 2011, France Telecom-Orange announced a milestone agreement with Free (Iliad Group) covering its forthcoming FTTH rollout across France. The joint financing deal covers about 60 less-dense areas in France representing 5 million homes.

    As announced earlier this year, France Telecom-Orange plans to invest EUR 2 billion by 2015 to bring fiber-optic networks to 3,600 French municipalities (communes), covering 10 million households by 2015 and 15 million households by 2020 (corresponding to 17 million homes), totaling nearly 60% of French households. The agreement with Free is the first such deal with an operator concerning fiber deployment in these areas that is due to begin in 2011 and 2012.

    France's regulatory framework for FTTH rollout outside of very dense cities was established at the start of the year. This week, France Telecom-Orange published its wholesale offer for access to the new fiber network and submitted details to ARCEP, the national regulator.

  • In December 2010, Bouygues Telecom and SFR agreed to share the costs of deploying FTTH infrastructure in dense municipalities. The companies will share the passive elements of the GPON network, but will compete at the services level. The accord is expected to cover some three million homes in 20 municipalities across France.

    SFR has previously announced a fiber line share deal with Numericable.