The French government has announced that EUR140 million (USD156 million) of cost savings from the country’s national superfast broadband strategy – dubbed ‘France Tres Haut Debit (THD)’ – will be reallocated to support the next phase of the fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) rollout, reports Les Echos. Secretary of State Agnes Pannier-Runacher confirmed that any savings made will be ‘immediately recycled to finance more lines’, adding the government will ‘make funding available for 25 departments that still do not have widespread fibre-to-the-home’. The EUR3.3 billion programme, which aims to provide 30 million homes with access to ultra-high speed broadband services by 2022, is reported to be on schedule and under budget.
Despite the network now passing around 16 million homes, with an additional four million premises being added each year, Ms Pannier-Runacher noted that three million people in difficult to access areas are yet to benefit from the programme. However, she believes further cost savings will mean there is no need to extend the programme’s original budget. It is thought an additional EUR400 million to EUR500 million will be required to complete the project.