French telecoms provider SFR has launched fibre-optic services in Saint-Quentin, the largest city in the Aisne Departement, with around 800 households currently eligible to connect to the network. The telco disclosed in a press release that the development is part of an agreement signed with incumbent Orange France in November 2011 to deploy shared fibre technology covering millions of households in less densely-populated areas of mainland France.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the deal covers around 9.8 million homes in agglomerations where ‘both operators have redundant deployment projects’. Under the terms of the agreement, SFR will serve 2.3 million of these households, with Orange France serving 7.5 million, by 2020; over 70,000 households in Aisne will benefit from the programme. The operator also revealed that it spends around EUR1.5 billion (USD1.9 billion) annually on network developments, with EUR150 million per year earmarked for fibre deployments.