It must be recognized that in 2009, optical fiber is much less developed in France than what the promises of operators let us imagine one or two years ago. It is a delay that Free recognizes, even if the operator once again revealed major ambitions in 2012, the year in which it hopes to reach 4 million plugs.
Free does not lose hope
“Deployment is well underway and we should reach 70% coverage of Parisian buildings by the end of the year,” said Maxime Lombardini, general manager of the Iliad group. “In the provinces, this deployment concerns 120,000 homes, but 800,000 additional sockets are being studied with work that could start as early as the second half. Ultimately, the group therefore wants to reach 4 million plugs that can be connected by 2012.
Today, very few French people really have access to fiber optics, despite the campaigns launched with fanfare by the various operators. With regard to the less dense rural areas, Free, on the other hand, relies on a shared network, which is shared between the different operators. “In these areas, competition from infrastructure is a real luxury,” said Maxime Lombardini.