The French State, the Alsace Region, the local authorities of the region and France Telecom-Orange jointly sign an agreement for the deployment of very high-speed broadband, in the presence of Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission
The Prefect of the Alsace Region, the Chairman of the Regional Council of Alsace, the Chairmen of the General Councils of Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin, the Chairmen of the Urban Community of Strasbourg, of the Agglomeration Community of Mulhouse-Alsace and of the Agglomeration Community of Colmar, the Mayors of Haguenau, Selestat and Saint-Louis, and the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of France Telecom-Orange signed an agreement today in Strasbourg for the deployment of optical fibre in Alsace, in the presence of Mrs. Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda.
This agreement enables the signatories to share details of the plan and schedule for the deployment of France Telecom-Orange’s very high-speed FTTH network (Fibre to the Home) and provides a tool for dialogue and information-sharing so that local authorities may efficiently support network deployment. It also specifies the scope of private investment by France Telecom-Orange from its own funds. As such, it is a stepping stone towards the optimization of private and public investments at a time of tight budget controls at a national level.
On 24 February 2012, during the meeting of the Commission for Regional Dialogue on Local Digital Development, France Telecom-Orange confirmed its ambitions to invest in an FTTH network over the period 2012-2020 in Haguenau, Selestat, Saint-Louis, the Urban Community of Strasbourg, the Agglomeration Community of Colmar, and the Agglomeration Community of Mulhouse Alsace areas. This network will be open to all operators. The purpose of the agreement signed today is to deploy FTTH in 73 communes, representing 51% of households in the region, by 2020.
For Pierre-Etienne Bisch, Prefect of the Alsace Region: "This agreement marks a concrete step forward in our shared objective to provide the long-term, homogenous and equitable coverage of the country with very high-speed broadband, an ambition that the government has strongly underlined recently. The challenge is to work together to ensure the success of this important project for Alsace by drawing on high-quality leadership and a shared strategic vision with diligence and zeal."
For Philippe Richert, former minister and Chairman of the Regional Council of Alsace: "Access to very high-speed broadband services is one of our highest priorities and is a fundamental tool for improving the competitively of the region. The Region has set ambitious coverage targets for the deployment of very high-speed broadband. The quality of the partnership with Orange will enable businesses and the wider public in Alsace to benefit from high-performance services."
For Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of France Telecom-Orange: “This agreement with the State and with local authorities in Alsace is part of our programme to invest 2 billion euros in fibre over the 2010 to 2015 period and illustrates our determination to accelerate its deployment. It also testifies to the commitments made, alongside local authorities, to the development of high-speed broadband across the country, a key factor for the development of the economy in the year's to come.”
For Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda: “I want every European to be digital and to have the benefit of access to very high-speed networks. This requires action on the part of the private and public sectors as well as exploration of new approaches to investing. I welcome the initiative that has taken shape today favourably; it is an important day for the citizens of Alsace.”
In March 2012, during a meeting with Vice President Neelie Kroes, France Telecom-Orange reiterated its ambition to participate fully in the deployment of very high-speed fixed and mobile broadband across all markets in which the Group is active in Europe. In France, the Group’s objective is to bring optical fibre to 3,600 communes, including all large and mid-sized cities, giving access to 15 million households in 2020, or 60% of all households in France. An investment envelope of 2 billion euros has been earmarked for the programme for the 2010 to 2015 period, taking into account the experience gained from successfully completed deployments to date.
Furthermore, with the regulatory framework for FTTH deployment outside densely populated areas having been specified in early 2011, France Telecom-Orange was able to build its wholesale offer, which was published on 19 July 2011. In accordance with the principles laid down by the French regulator ARCEP, this offer permits network mutualisation outside very dense areas and allows the end-user to choose his or her service provider. It is open to all operators and France Telecom-Orange is very happy that Free (Iliad group), SFR and Bouygues Telecom have subscribed to this offer.
Fibre is revolutionizing multimedia uses in the home
With speeds up to ten times faster than those of ADSL and as high as 100 Mbit/sec, optical fibre is stimulating the emergence of new web and multimedia uses in the home. The path-breaking capacity of fibre networks meets the increasing demand for extra network capacity in the home. With fibre, several screens can be used simultaneously in the same home – high definition televisions, computers, game consoles – without any impact on speed. Fibre also offers very high upload speeds, which will facilitate the development of telecommuting. In addition, fibre will make new services such as 3D television widely available.