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France launching more strategic FTTH plan

By Donna Donnawitz
February 1, 2012
In most countries, the move to install fiber to the home infrastructure is led by telecom companies, with governments stepping in at times to stimulate spending on optical network connectivity. This often leads to many duplicate networks as vendors wrestle for position in high-density regions where customer demographics are likely to turn to fiber-optic connectivity options.

According to a recent LightWaveOnline report, France is taking a different, more strategic approach to deploying FTTH infrastructure throughout the country. The first part of this methodology was to encourage operators to build optical infrastructure into areas with high-density populations.

Within this goal, the country mandated that whichever provider an apartment building or other similar high-density housing unit chose to install its fiber-optic solution also lease the network to other providers. This tactic not only retains competitive balance, but ensures that a single FTTH network is all that is needed within an area.

These efforts are paying off now that France is pushing toward low-density population areas, the report said. In such instances, the government plans to encourage FTTH rollouts, continuing its mandate that any provider with a network in place has to lease that infrastructure to other vendors. This prevents duplicate roll outs and ensures that optical cabling reaches as many consumers as possible. The government will then step in and provide funding to any regions that cannot afford investments in FTTH. Under these conditions, the country plans to have 70 percent of the country connected through FTTH by 2015 and 100 percent by 2025.

Despite this ambitious strategy, there are some concerns about the actual level of interest in FTTH connectivity. In high-density areas, the technology has not been embraced as much as many experts anticipated. However, there is much more potential for revenue as organizations move to install FTTH infrastructure in low density environments. Yves Parfait, head of fiber projects for Orange Telecom, told the news source that strong DSL infrastructure in urban areas is limiting FTTH adoption. However, many rural areas do not have any broadband access, creating major opportunities for FTTH revenues.

FTTH is rapidly expanding around the world, as the need to offer high-performance networking capabilities to home users is rising quickly. A combination of large-scale government projects, private initiatives and increasing telecom requirements are all contributing to a large market for FTTH installations.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.


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