Free proposes two concrete steps to facilitate the transition of ADSL subscribers to fiber as a universal broadband service

Free proposes two concrete steps to facilitate the transition of ADSL subscribers to fiber as a universal broadband service

Free wants to create a universal broadband service, for example at 10 Mbits/s, to guarantee a minimum Internet connection in French households if the copper network survives its last hours.

No less than 72% of fiber premises and more than 15 million FTTH subscribers, the transition to fiber is following its course. Only, for reasons of technical performance and obsolescence, but also of efficiency, cost and environmental footprint, to watch and maintain the two new fiber networks and the historical copper network is not relevant. This is why Orange wants the technical closure of copper to take place gradually from 2023, to be completed by 2030. “In accordance with the framework defined by the decisions of the market analysis in December 2020, Orange sent the draft plan to close the Arcep copper network in January 2022, putting it up for public consultation until April 4 , 2022. The regulator is now publishing the responses to the public consultation”announced on July 29 the telecoms police.

Contributors include Bouygues Telecom, SFR, Libre, Canal + and even infrastructure operators such as Altitude and Axione, but also Avicca and Infranum. For its part, Free remains in favor of a commercial closure of the address when it is qualified for the 4 main operators.

Just to speed up the quenching of copper, “It is necessary to determine in a relatively reliable way the correspondence between lines and addresses that qualify for fiber and copper lines”, he said, recalling that Orange chose a proprietary address repository for copper by choosing not to open it. On the contrary, fiber operators have chosen different address repositories for fiber, which does not facilitate comparison.

“Given the inevitable disappearance of copper, whether this disappearance is organized or not within a formal closure plan, for us it is necessary that the State take two accompanying measures”, showed the operator of Xavier Niel in his response to the consultation. The first proposal promotes the establishment of a universal broadband service, for example 10 Mbits, guaranteeing that every household has a minimum Internet service that allows telework and tele-teaching, “This safety net seems to be important if the copper connection disappears from all the residences and there should be problematic cases of the impossibility of the FttH connection, at least under market conditions”.

The second step is to give the State financial support to do some work on private properties. “We understand that public authorities want to increase the effective rate of FttH connection over time. However, the lack of infrastructure for receiving fiber within private property is one of the main obstacles of connection, internal infrastructure. These costs, such as water, electricity or sanitation are the responsibility of the owner and should not be left to the operators. In the context of the extinction of copper, it seems desirable to think, such as the work of insulation, financial assistance for doing the necessary work. These two support measures can, according to the operator, eventually facilitate the transition to fiber optics, without the risk of leaving homes without Internet.

As far as Orange is concerned, Free believes that this may include an additional goal aimed at strongly encouraging the migration of ADSL subscribers to fiber optics. A certain number of them, for example, will never migrate except to switch, although some will switch to FTTH as soon as they qualify. However, migration can be long and expensive for many.

This article was taken from the Univers FreeBox website

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