Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Intro: The project / Intro: Le projet

I'm a telecommunications economist in Paris and I spend a lot of time thinking about and using broadband. We've chosen to live in a beautiful area of southwest Paris but one which has limited broadband options. In fact, broadband is terrible for everyone in our village. The incumbent operator (France Telecom) hasn't upgraded our own exchange for DSL and that means that people in the village are connected through one of two towns, each roughly 5 km away.

I subscribe to broadband via DSL and cable. At 4.5 km from the DSL exchange I receive 1 Mbit/s via the competitive operator Free - too slow for me to take advantage of their IPTV offer for example. I also subscribe to Noos for cable Internet. I pay for a 30 Mbit/s connection but receive only 3 Mbit/s - and even that is traffic shaped. Even 200 euros of calls to the helpline at 34 cents a minute hasn't solved the problem. I am not alone. It seems that almost everyone I speak with here has similar problems and people are getting fed up.

There is talk around town that France Telecom has offered to upgrade the exchange if the town will pay the costs (roughly EUR 50K). I say no. We're going to build this network ourselves. We are going to bring our own broadband to our homes.

Our goal is simple. We want a fiber to the home network capable of gigabit speeds which will be open to services from any operator. I've spent enough time writing about "open access" networks and infrastructure-based competition at work. Now it's time to get down and dirty and build one myself.

I've decided to keep a journal of my experiences along the way in case someone wants to replicate a similar rollout. This certainly won't be the first of it's kind. That honor probably goes to Måttgränd, Sweden. I'll be contacting them shortly for advice. However, I hope this project will show whether it is indeed possible for a small provider to roll out FTTH without economies of scale.

1 comment:

Stéfan said...


J'ai découvert ce blog par un lien sur le blog de Benoit Felten, Fiberevolution.

La démarche présentée est très intéressante, je suis curieux de connaître la suite des évènements.

Bon courage !