I received word this weekend that the contract and negotiations with France Telecom were too far advanced for the municipality to be able to make changes. It's too bad that the village will be paying for the construction of the building (for France Telecom's benefit) but won't be able to dictate any new terms for fiber. I'm taken back that an exchange being built anywhere in the world in the year 2009 would lack space for competitive fiber equipment.
Hopefully other villages poised to give EUR 50,000 to France Telecom will be able to use the excellent advice I received from my Dutch friends to promote fiber competition in the future.
This means that I'll have to approach this a different way - possibly with a separate fiber shelter next to the copper exchange. Each of the competitive operators has fiber passing through the exchange already so we'd simply have to put the fiber shelter next to this line so they'd be able to interconnect easily.
I'll work on setting up a meeting with the competitive operators this week to discuss a plan.