updated 04:00 pm EDT, Fri April 25, 2008
French fiber-optics law
On Thursday, the French government announced its plans to pass a law that would require all new apartment buildings to be pre-wired with fiber-optic cable for Internet access. A proposal that would include such a requirement is reported to go in front of the Parliament this spring, and will involve all buildings of at least 25 units. The government is trying to speed along adoption of fast broadband access with this law, as the country's three biggest Internet providers have committed to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on fiber-optic networks in the near future.
The costs of the installation would be passed along to the home buyer by being included in the purchase price. If it is enacted, the law would require all new specified homes built from 2010 onward to feature access for all network operators at the main entrance, according to government spokesperson Luc Chatel.
Operators would need to agree whether or not to share local switching nodes and if so, how to do it. The government would leave the French telecommunications regulator, Arcep, to deal with issues regarding competition between the providers outside of the building access, Chatel continued.
If passed, the undertaking would represent a $15.8 billion investment over a 10-year period.