France wants to invest $27B in high speed broadband

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France has unveiled a financing plan that would result in the government and private companies spending €20 billion ($27 billion) over the next 10 years bringing high speed broadband and fiber connectivity to the country. The news comes after the EU’s budget cut almost all of the $7 billion it planned to spend bringing broadband in Europe.

Yet Europe still hopes to have 50 percent of the population at 100 Mbps speeds by 2020 with the rest of the population at 30 Mbps.

France’s president Francois Hollande outline the plan in a speech earlier this week, according to a Reuters story. From the story:

Three tranches of more than 6 billion euros each will fund the planned network rollout, Hollande said. One will come from network operators, one from a mix of operators and local government and the last from state and local-government money.

The goal is for 50 percent of the country to have faster broadband — although those speeds weren’t specified — by 2017. France attempted this before, but it failed because operators didn’t want to invest in rural areas where the costs of deployments are higher. Under the new plan, operators will be able to pool their capital to fund those areas, which may or may not actually inspire them to invest. The details aren’t clear, but if operators could share rural networks and all provide service on them, it might be a model worth watching for future rural deployments.

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