Reunion mulls fibre/wireless broadband rollout options

21 Aug 2012

The government of Reunion is mulling options on how best to utilise fibre-optic deployment on the island, ahead of the planned adoption of a new broadband strategy in September. According to online news site Clicanoo, whilst the authorities see no problem in rolling out fibre in urban centres, the issue of regional coverage is more problematic, with Long Term Evolution (LTE) or Wi-Fi considered a better option to reach more rural or mountainous areas. The plan could cost a total of EUR150 million-EUR300 million (USD185 million-USD370 million) to complete, the vice president in charge of new technologies, Vincent Payet, is quoted as saying. Work on the project is expected to start in late-2013, although Reunion’s main city Saint-Denis is not covered in the plan as it is already being served through a government-backed regional network rollout project – awarded to Orange Reunion last year. The France Telecom-Orange company envisions a different timetable for fibre-optic coverage in Saint-Denis, with work here due to start in H2 2015. The upgrade will take five years to complete, Orange says, and will provide fibre connectivity to all homes and businesses within 17km of local exchanges.