Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The good news / La bonne nouvelle

One of the main reasons I think this project could work is that we live very close to an open-access fibre backbone ring running throughout our French department (Les Yvelines - 78). Our community (residence) within the village has 24 homes, one apartment building and a few commercial shops. At the closest point we're less than 100 meters from the fibre running down the main street of the village and then out to the rest of the department.

From my understanding the fiber ring project, Yvelines Numeriques, was built to provide companies using unbundled local loops a way to connect to local exchanges. We happen to be geographically very close to the network so the civil engineering costs should be quite low to reach the fiber ring.

The other good news is our "residence" will vote next month on whether we should pay to have our roads redone. Our road is private and we're looking at roughly EUR 110,000 to redo it - spread among the residents. If the road work does go ahead then this would be an excellent opportunity to lay the fiber.

There also seems to be a lot of support from people in the neighborhood for such a project. Everyone has trouble with their broadband connections. Our DSL was out for 4 weeks straight in April and others have had similar problems. A few people in our village work in telecommunications and others have jobs that rely heavily on Internet connections. I believe that take-up could be high, particularly among the newer residents.

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