The French government has launched a consultation on the possible deployment of a nationwide fibre-optic network. According to Telecompaper, the announcement follows a recent study on France’s future needs for high speed access commissioned by ministers in September last year. The study found that the cost of building the network would exceed that of rolling out existing high speed networks, but that demand for higher bandwidth services supports a move to a more advanced network. The cost of the plan is estimated at EUR40 billion (USD50.5 billion), split between EUR10 billion to cover 40% of the population in urban areas and EUR30 billion to cover the rest of France. The consultation runs until 31 May.