A standard for qualifying the provision of next-generation broadband for developments now exists in France


Fibre Optique : 11 zones labellisées Zone d’activité Très Haut Débit – DegroupNews.com (France – French language)

www.labelzathd.fr – Home site for the ZA THD logo program (France – French language)

My comments

It is so easy for land and building developers to hawk the possibilities of new technology like fibre-optic communications when they sell their properties. This was increasingly done through the 1970s to the 1990s as a way of stating that the development was “ready for the future” and is still practised today with some residential-commercial developments. In a lot of these cases, there really isn’t a way of benchmarking the quality and capacity of the fibre-optic technology that goes in to these locations and knowing whether they really live up to the expectations.

The French government have taken a step in the right direction with the “Zone d’Activité Très Haut Débit” (Very High Bandwidth Business Zone) where there is a particular logo for fully-qualified developments.

Here, they required the following standards of the infrastructure for the development to be “logo-compliant”:

  • Next-generation broadband to be delivered by optical fibre to every property
  • A minimum service bandwidth of 100Mbps symmetric “to the door” 
  • Provision for the competitive delivery of next-generation broadband by several retail providers.

This was to be supervised by SETICS in order to assure throughput and competitive-service compliance.

The current shortcomings that I find with this project is that it doesn’t qualify residential developments or the provision of next-generation broadband to the tenancy units (offices, shops, apartments) in a multiple-tenancy building like an office block, shopping centre or block of flats. These kind of developments are where there is the likelihood of hyping-up broadband infrastructure that falls short of the mark.

What needs to happen with this is to extend the logo standards to residential developments and multiple-tenancy buildings owned or managed by a particular entity. As well, local government should be involved in the promotion of the minimum-standard next generation broadband service so that if they have a logo like the “ZA THD” logo, they can become attractive to the “switched on” residents and businesses.

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