Orange targets 100% fibre in 9 French cities


Orange has set itself the target of reaching 100% fibre to the home (FTTH) deployment in nine French cities by the end of 2016, the telco has announced.

According to the French telco, the number of connected devices and screens per household has risen from 4 in 2009 to 6.5 in 2014, with forecasts indicating up to 13 screens per household by 2022. Consequently, introducing FTTH is a necessary step in ensuring maximising broadband speeds can be achieved to manage the bandwidth demand of said devices.

Over the next 7 years, Orange is targeting deployment growth of 4 million fibre-connected households in April 2015, to 12 million in 2018, and 18 million by 2022. Orange reckons the final roll-outs in 2022 will see nearly 60% of all French households connected directly to fibre, and says speeds of up to 1Gbps are already available to fibre-connected homes.

Enabling FTTH is as much a civil engineering challenge as it is a technological one. Traditional broadband delivery networks typically utilise existing copper infrastructure around the last 100 meters to deliver connectivity; which ultimately leads to a loss of speed and signal strength, the further away the premises is from the and of the fibre network. Speaking to, Dieter Verdegem, director of product management at TE Connectivity, reckons operators are realising that FTTH and introducing faster broadband access speeds is an unavoidable trend.

“From the carrier perspective, they can offer a fibre service boasting superior headline speeds and TV packages, because the fibre infrastructure will enable the delivery of multiple high definition television services, which obviously consume a high amount of data,” he said. “For that reason, carriers can generate higher revenues if their competitors are unable to match their services. That being said, what we’re seeing is that if one carrier deploys fibre to the home, competitors are following suit very quickly. They realise that they’ll be in a very unfavourable competitive position, which is unacceptable. If the first market player buys into it, the avalanche effect comes into play and multiple other carriers get on board very quickly.”

The initiative by Orange, called “100% Fibre Orange” is expected to roll out across nine major cities across the country, including Nice, Lyon, Montpellier, Lille and Paris.

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