Rural Broadband Activity in the Haute-Pyrénées and Brittany regions in France

News articles (French-language only)

 Les Hautes-Pyrénées et le Finistère en haut et très haut débit – DegroupNews.com

From the horse’s mouth

Hautes-Pyrénées Conseil-Général

Press release

Brochure (PDF)

Finistère Conseil-Général

Press release

My Notes and Comments

Hautes-Pyrénées

In this mountainous département of France, there are plans to establish a fibre-optic backbone that will lead to an improvement in Internet service across this area.

The improvements will be in the form of improved ADSL service for more of the telephone exchanges, including “dégroupage” (local-loop unbundling) for competitive-service access as well as a fibre-optic uplink. It also includes “sub-loop access” where DSLAMs will be installed closer to customers’ premises for those customers that are far away from the exchanges, like farms or mountain properties. These improvements will allow the customers to have the same level of IPTV access as would be expected around France.

There will also be a WiMAX wireless broadband network with 58 stations that will be set up to cover areas that are not likely to have proper broadband service, with satellite coverage for the most difficult cases. This situation may be necessary for some of those properties that exist on the slopes of the Pyrenees.

The fibre-optic network will not just be for a backbone but will provide “next-generation broadband” for key areas such as public service, health, research and education as well as “communities of interest” for the département.

Finistère (Brittany)

This département. which covers the western-most tip of France, has a goal of achieving the minimum of 2Mbps throughout its area.

This will be achieved with a fibre optic backbone through that département. It will also mean that exchanges that service ADSL “dead-spots” can be lit up for ADSL. There is also the possibility of a 97-station WiMAX wireless-broadband network set up in this area.

Both areas

The “sub-loop access” effort that is being undertaken with the Hautes-Pyrénées project is impressive because it represents an effort to get the full-speed broadband to the customer’s front door. But I would also suggest that these efforts include checking for decaying wiring and other limitations that can impede ADSL performance.

Also, the fibre deployments should cover not just the key economic areas in the départements, but assure FTTH deployments in the cities where the key economic areas are, especially the residential parts of these cities. This can avoid the tendency to “redline” the towns when it comes to further investment in them. In the case of the Hautes-Pyrénées project, if a town is identified as being a ski resort, it should be looked at in the context of full fibre deployment so that the small businesses in that area which service the snowfield traffic can gain as much benefit as the big businesses in the cities.

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