France Telecom-Orange (FT-Orange) and rival telco SFR have signed a joint agreement with the authorities of Ile-de-France to deploy optical fibre broadband access infrastructure in both high- and lower-density areas. The deal, which is to be funded through public and private investment, will enable the rollout of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) serving the entire region which includes the capital Paris, targeting 100% direct fibre broadband coverage of homes and businesses by 2020. A similar agreement was signed on 28 March between the Val d’Oise region and FT-Orange.
Under the plan, by 2020 the two operators will aim to cover 4.7 million households via private investment, or 89% of homes in the Ile-de-France region, while in those areas not covered by private investment, shared FTTH networks (Public Initiative Networks [PINs]) will be deployed to 862 municipalities with financial support from the government/regional authorities worth EUR150 million (USD196.5 million). The joint press release states that in very dense areas, with population density sufficient for infrastructure competition, each operator will deploy its network independently; beyond very dense areas, FT-Orange will deploy its network in 198 municipalities of Ile-de-France and SFR in 122 municipalities. These networks will be open to other ISPs through wholesale offers from each operator.