The Hauts-de-Seine Conseil has imposed a fine of EUR51.6 million (USD58.7 million) on Sequalum, a 95/5 joint venture between French broadband provider Numericable and telco SFR, for delaying the deployment of high-speed fibre-optic network in the district under the ‘Le Tres Haut Debit dans les Hauts-de-Seine (THD Seine)’ project. The latest penalty comes on the back of a EUR45 million fine imposed on the company in August 2014 for the same reasons. Further, the Hauts-de-Seine Conseil has given Sequalum three months to install the remaining 483,584 fibre nodes, as outlined in its contract.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the company was contracted back in March 2008 to roll out fibre infrastructure covering 100% of the district by the end of 2015. However, in October 2014 the Hauts-de-Seine Conseil General rescinded the EUR422 million agreement with Sequalum, due to ‘significant delays in the construction of the network’. Patrick Devedjian, the president of Hauts-de-Seine Conseil General, disclosed that the operator had not respected its commitments and had failed to make available the human and financial capital necessary to complete the work on time. The Hauts-de-Seine Counseil revealed that only 113,000 nodes were connected to the fibre-optic network by July 2014, with 556,000 classified as ‘connectable’ at that date, well short of the 825,900 connected fibre nodes agreed upon under the THD Seine programme.