Anyone interested in France Telecom’s broadband deployment should be asking one simple question.
Why is it that according to France Telecom they can run fibre to the premises for one twelfth of the cost of the NBN? And what does that say about the economics of FTTP in France vs Australia?
Note France Telecom state they are investing $2 billion euro (AU$2.37 billion) to pass 10 million French households by 2015 (available online here).
That is the equivalent of $237 per household and delivered in a timeframe of four years. So compared to France Telecom, the NBN looks even more like a snail.
The NBN Co states that it will invest AU$ 37.4 billion in capex for 13.2 million premises, of which 12.2 million will be FTTP, Australian households by 2021.
That is the equivalent of $2833 per household and delivered in a timeframe of 10 years.
Where it is not economic to deliver FTTH, France Telecom are also deploying technologies such as fibre-to-the-curb and satellite as “intermediary solutions”.
If FTTP could be built in Australia for costs comparable to those stated above, there wouldn’t be a debate about doing it. It is not a question of FTTP vs FTTN in abstract, it is a question of the relative cost and benefit of each technology in each market.