French telcos, SFR and Bouygues Telecom, have confirmed a joint initiative to cut costs by sharing the roll-out of high speed fibre-optic networks in some cities. The joint agreement will allow Bouygues, which is a newer and smaller player in the country’s fixed line services segment, to avoid having to construct a costly fibre network from scratch on its own.
Bouygues signed a contract with domestic cableco Numericable allowing it to launch ultra-high speed broadband services last month using the latter’s host network. Unlike that deal, the SFR/Bouygues accord will see both parties sharing the infrastructure equally, rather than renting it. For its part, SFR will enjoy cost savings in terms of rolling out fibre to areas where it would otherwise have shouldered the entire cost. No financial details were disclosed, but the deal is reported to encompass around three million dwellings in France’s 20 largest cities.
The national regulator Arcep has endorsed the agreement and praised Bouygues for its ‘dynamic’ approach to providing broadband access.