Iliad (Free) and Vendee Numerique, which is deploying a fibre network in Vendee covering 80% of the region’s homes and businesses, have inked an agreement enabling Free to offer services over the Public Initiative Network (PIN, locally known as Reseaux d’Initiative Publique, or RIP). During the first quarter of 2019, Free will start offering services in the towns of Challans, Montaigu, Les Herbiers, Mortagne sur Sevre and Fontenay le Comte, with its offering scheduled to be launched in Lucon, Aizenay, le Poire sur Vie, Pouzauges, Saint Gilles Croix de Vie, Saint Hilaire de Riez, Saint Jean de Monts and Chantonnay throughout 2019. The Vendee project – which will be in deployment until 2020 and will cost over EUR100 million – is being financed at both the regional and national level, as well as by the EU. It provides for the connection of 70,000 fibre sockets by 2020. Free had over eight million connectible fibre sockets and 734,000 fibre subscribers at mid-2018.
Elsewhere, B2B operator Netalis has announced the forthcoming launch of a new fibre package offering a non-guaranteed speed of up to 10Gbps (1Gbps upload), based on Orange’s FTTH network infrastructure. It will be initially available from 30 October to business customers in the city of Besancon and surrounding areas, where the operator is based. A progressive rollout is already scheduled for several other locations, the company has said.