Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Competition / Concurrence

Competition is king.

I'm a big fan of competitive telecommunication markets because that's where the action is. Consumers are better off and providers are pushed to innovate and provide the best services. France has one of the most competitive broadband markets in the world and that has both positive and negative implications for this project.

On the positive side - Paris and other large cities are getting fiber - possibly from multiple providers. Soon others (in non-covered areas) are going to start wondering why they don't have it as well. That can only help projects like this one. We also have some of the best broadband packages in the world. The operator Free offers ADSL 2+ connections at up to 26 Mbps, free fixed calls to 42 countries and 100+ television channels for EUR 29.99 a month. Free has announced that it will move people to fiber for the same price. That's hard to beat.

And therein lies the negative aspect of competition on our project. Some operators in other countries are able to sell lower-speed ADSL (and even fiber) subscriptions without the other 2 parts of the triple play package. I don't think that consumers here in France would accept that now. If you don't have a compelling video and phone offer then people simply aren't interested. Offering an up-front triple-play offer is clearly outside the realm of possibilities for me alone with this project. That means that competition will likely force me to team up with someone who can.

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