French telecoms provider SFR Group has proposed to extend fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) infrastructure to 80% of the territory by 2022 and the whole of the country by 2025 without any state support, this saving the government up to EUR15 billion (USD17.1 billion) on its ‘France Tres Haut Debit (FTHD)’ national broadband plan (expected to require EUR20 billion of government aid), domestic newspaper La Tribune writes. The proposed fibre deployment will be carried out by a new subsidiary, Altice Infrastructures, which will provide operators with access to the fibre-optic network on a wholesale basis. The infrastructure unit could become operational by September this year.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in May 2017 SFR filed a legal lawsuit against rival Orange regarding their share of investments in a common fibre-optic network in less-densely populated areas. Under the original agreement (signed in November 2011), Orange agreed to provide 80% of the funds, while SFR was responsible for the remainder. Following the Numericable-SFR merger, however, SFR requested a bigger share of the fibre-optic network deployment (50/50 split); the telco proposed that it should also be allowed to cover remote areas, which were not scheduled for fibre deployments at the time, to avoid duplication with its cable infrastructure.