Om on France Telecom Fibre Broadband, Not Quite.
Om Malik’s take on France Telecom’s fibre plans would be appropriate for some of FT’s European peers, but falls a little way off the mark for FT itself. Their intention is not as aggressive as Om speculates.
What France Telecom announced earlier this week was the intention to trial fibre to the home for “thousands of customers” initially in the Paris region during 2006. Next year, FT may expand the trial to elsewhere in France or into FT’s other country operations (e.g. Spain, Netherlands, UK, Poland).
However, since the release FT have clarified several points:
1. They don’t believe the business case for fibre exists yet.
2. They see no need to do VDSL (fibre to the curb) ever with ADSL2+ continuing to improve.
3. Their spending plans on fibre will be modest during 2006 and 2007: 4m Euro in 2006 and “tens of millions” in 2007 and “even in 2008″.
So, this is not FT’s major jump into fibre, just yet.
But FT may have to move into fibre earlier than they think. After all, they’ve been slow to recognise major market movements before: “We have been surprised by the speed of VoIP in France”, Stephane Pallez, CFO, France Telecom, today.