Partnerships key to FT's fiber plans

France Telecom will seek partnerships to finance fiber rollout in the market, the first detailed breakdown of its plans reveal.

The incumbent stated cooperation with other potential fiber operators and co-investment deals will be major elements in achieving ambitious goals for fiber coverage in the country.

It is investing €2 million to deploy fiber to ten million homes by 2015, and aims to pass 15 million homes by 2020, the plans show.

The French government asked the carrier to supply a detailed breakdown of its plans as part of its program to deploy very high-speed broadband in the country.

In response, the telco revealed it will deploy fiber in all large and medium-sized towns and cities by 2015, with 15 cities already covered.

However rural areas will have to make do with interim technologies including fiber to the curb or satellite, as France Telecom said plans for full fiber would depend on “application of the regulatory framework outside very dense areas,” – an apparent swipe at ARCEP rules covering shared networks.

Chief Stéphane Richard said the fiber plans were ambitious, but noted they would help the carrier consolidate its position in its domestic market, and maximize the “growth potential that this network can offer for the years to come.”

The telco is currently pursuing a strategy of aggregating and distributing content, recently striking teaming with broadcaster Canal+ and acquiring online video firmDailymotion.

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