France Telecom (FT) and alternative operator SFR (including neuf Cegetel) have signed a new cooperation agreement designed to speed up the deployment of fibre-optic services across the country. Telecompaper cites a report in Les Echos which says the latest agreement covers 15 cities in France and will see the two operators agreeing to site their respective network connection points as close to homes as possible – either inside apartment blocks or close by single-family properties – so that more people can be served by a single network provider. The contract aims to clarify installation agreements in buildings in which the two firms are rolling out fibre. Under the terms of the contract, the telco which deploys its FTTx network to the building itself will be the sole contact point for residents’ committees, but end-users living there will then be able to choose which of the two suppliers to use to connect to their apartment. FT is believed to be holding similar talks with Iliad (Free) and Numericable and agreements between operators must be completed by 31 October. If they fail to meet the deadline, the regulator Arcep could be asked to intervene.