FT: Free holding up FTTH mutualization

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France Telecom (www.francetelecom.com) has accused one of its competitors, Free, of delaying FTTH deployments in France by not cooperating in tests designed to promote shared access to potential customers.Th 306752

French telecommunications and posts regulator ARCEP has mandated that carriers that bring fiber to homes and multiple–dwelling units in the country enable access to other service providers as a way to promote service–based competition. France Telecom says it has “held pragmatic and open negotiations with its rivals” to create test approaches toward such infrastructure sharing, which is commonly called “mutualization.”

As an example of its good faith efforts towards this end, France Telecom pointed to an agreement it signed in September of last year with SFR. However, the carrier says it is having no such luck working with Free. “Up until now, Free has refused all proposed agreements, demanding the systematic deployment of the multi–fiber solution, which has not yet been fully tested. This approach, to a great extent, denies people living in buildings that are fibered by Free, notably in Paris, the freedom to choose another operator,” France Telecom complained in a statement to the press.

“In this way, Free is blocking the implementation of a general agreement on the mutualization of vertical fibering, a prerequisite for the large–scale deployment of fiber,” the carrier added. FIND OUT MORE ONLINE

Alphion Corp. (www.alphion.com) says it has received the Technical Specification Evaluation Certificate (TSEC) for its GPON access equipment. TSEC is a certification process carried out by the quality assurance organization of Indian carrier Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL). TSEC certification is a requirement for deploying GPON products in the networks of BSNL and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd. in India. FIND OUT MORE ONLINE

Swisscom says it is beginning the next stage of its fiber–optic broadband network build out. Fiber–optic cables have already been laid to neighborhoods and to large companies, and residential customers and SMEs are next in line. Work has already started in Zurich, Basel, and Geneva, with the aim of connecting 100,000 households with fiber–optic cables by the end of 2009. The plan is then to further extend the network to include residential premises in the cities of St. Gallen, Berne, Fribourg, and Lausanne. The first offerings for residential customers and SMEs will be launched in the first half of 2009. FIND OUT MORE ONLINE

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