Articles – in French language
GirondeNumerique.fr – main web site
Gironde, a département in the south West of France, known as one of France’s key wine districts is doing major works to improve broadband coverage across its area.
Here, they have laid 1,060 kilometres of fibre-optic cable to produce a backbone for this service and are at the moment running it through the necessary tests. This network will provide 83 districts and 168 public buildings in this département with fibre-to-the-premises next-generation broadband.
This network will also be about making sure that an ADSL2 service capable of at least 2Mbps “at the door” will pass 99% of all households in Gironde. The remainder that cannot achieve this speed will have access to a two-way satellite connection, It will also support the competitive service provisioning that has kept the French Internet scene very lively and put a high-value Internet service in to the hands of most, if not all, French people.
This has been funded by Gironde’s local government with private input from France-Télécom (Orange). This local government is also using it as part of rolling out an improved online presence including the gradual provisioning of e-government facilities for its citizens.
I would encourage other countries to look at what the UK and France are doing for their next-generation broadband services because these countries have implemented strong mechanisms to assure a lively Internet-service marketplace. This includes technological and regulatory measures that have been put in place and the encouragement of local government rather than central government in the service-establishment phase.