Secondary-house Internet packages now a key issue in France

Article – French language

Les résidences secondaires : sujet de discorde entre SFR et Orange – DegroupNews.com

My Comments

In the USA, some of the carriers who run wireless-broadband service have had to deal with an untested but real market in the form of the multiple-device user. This is where an account holder maintains multiple wireless-broadband devices like a smartphone, tablet or “Mi-Fi” router, Here, they are having to formulate the right plans that encompass multiple devices and have them gain access to larger bandwidth-allowance pools. It will take some time for these plans to be adjusted properly as the “bugs” and customer-service issues are ironed out in order to achieve the right multi-device plan.

But in France, a spat has occurred between SFR and France Télécom (Orange) over another untested but real service class that is facing the telecommunications aind Internet-service industry. This is a service that is provided to a secondary house like a city flat or a holiday house that is lived in on an occasional basis; and is considered important with France with 3 million householders owning such a place that is typically occupied 44 days in a year.

The accusation that is being raised by SFR is that Orange is working in an uncompetitive manner when targeting this market by offering a particular non-committed Internet package for this user class. SFR say that they can’t offer a similar deal because of their wholesale-bandwidth purchasing agreement with Orange.

There is a reality that people who use these properties do use a wireless broadband service due to its suitability to temporary setups and “there-and-then” setup requirements. But there is a desire by the carriers to provide the “full-bore” fixed broadband service, especially as part of a fixed-line telephony or triple-play package to these houses.

This is augmented more so by the desire for the competitive operators needing to pitch to this market and yield a “secondary-home” service that represents high value in a similar vein that is expected across France.

Personally, I would like to see other telecommunications and Internet-service operators that exist outside France looking at the “secondary-residence” user class more seriously and pitch telecommunications and Internet services that mean real value to them. This includes rental plans for services that are occasionally used such as 3-month / 12-month plans, plans that offer value to multiple-location services and, where applicable, services where bandwidth allowances for many locations are pooled to a larger allowance.

This also should encompass homes which are occupied on a seasonal basis like “summer homes” or houses that are let out to other users on a short-term basis. As well, it could encompass home / business setups where a person has a home office but also maintains a shopfront or secondary office for their business and they want the same communications needs replicated at both sites.

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