Fiber: Free to idle...

If the Free DG confirms the ambitions of the FAI in fiber optics, the field, the evidence evoke a judgment coup.

Freebox Revolution V6While Free investments in fibre optics appear to be stopped, that confirm numerous sources, our colleagues from ZDNet ensure that Free abandoned buildings that he yet had the intention of fibrecoating and that the ISP reviews largely down its ambitions in vertical deployments. This is who will do that a little more slow down the deployment of fiber in France, while the Trustees of condominiums are more and more numerous to complain of commitments and not held by Free time.

A problem already mentioned in our columns late last year, when Free did not hesitate to return to competition projects that he could not (?) not want to ensure. Because 62% of buildings having signed an agreement for the installation of fibre optics with Free do not work start within 6 months as the yet provide the conventions. Free had then withdrawn from 50% of projects covering the fibering of the 600,000 housing where it was committed.

Today, a source of ZDNet says that Free stopped its deployments, leaving the buildings with which it had made commitments and reducing its objectives for the other, the signatures of projects with the Trustees being much less frequent. This is confirmed by documents maintained by all operators involved in fiber optics, in which one can see that March Free is more than 265.000 housing, against 592.000 in September 2011, while figures of France Telecom and SFR competitors progressing significantly. For example, in Grenoble where Free was engaged on the connection to the fibre of 10,000 housing units, everything is stopped, the ambitions now pointing at 0.

On the other hand, Free continues there where the connection him cheaper, in buildings already fiber by competition where a sharing node. Are fewer, more profitable, but this does not make the map of the deployment of fiber in France.

Free, for his part, disputed these charges, replicating be one of the players that invests the most in the fibre with 160 million euros injected in 2011, without however giving the distribution of investments in vertical deployment and those in the horizontal deployment.

Maxime Lombardini, CEO of the Iliad group, responded to the questions of ZDNet, explaining: "There is not lower our ambitions or slowdown of our investments to the contrary (...)" There are now, all operators combined, about 2 million eligible housing in the FTTH and less than 200 000 connected housing, that is to say who specifically subscribed an offer of optical fibre. "We believe that it is more important to transform the eligible housing units connected rather than seek to sign as many buildings as possible."


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