Italians Big French Broadband Gambit


Looking for some broadband madness? Well don’t expect US to oblige – its a duoply nation, in case you didn’t notice. It is Europe which is turning into a broadband battleground. English DSL providers are opening up the pipes for $20 a month, French DSL wannabes are shaking their heads, making a lot of noise, and of course creating a world class ruckus. And if that is not enough, now Italians want to sell broadband to French, and are ready to play the price game. Well they will have to in order to catch up with France Telecom and Free, amongst others. Telecom Italia says it will spend over $500 million and build out its own network as it tries to take a piece of the French market. European telecoms are quickly expanding into each other’s territory in order to grow. In case you forgot, Telecom italia bought Liberty Surf, a DSL provider with a million customers for $343 million recently from Tiscali. Madness, I tell you. Graham Finnie, analyst with Heavy Reading agrees. “That’s an awful lot of money. It’s an impressive plan, but where’s the differential that will allow them to make any money?” Like him I agree that there are just too many players, many flirting with disaster. Still its fun to watch… more fun than watching Comcast struggle with its DNS servers.


Esme Vos

I can’t wait to sign up for 15 Mbps symmetrical broadband service for 35 EUR per month when I get back to Amsterdam next month. I asked American ISPs why broadband is so much more expensive here and they come up with the same excuse: oh, the US is a big country, larger distances, blah blah. When I ask, well what about places like NY, SF, Philadelphia, which are urban and more densely populated – why isn’t broadband service/price there comparable to that in Paris? Silence. This is the same excuse I hear from mobile operators in the US – oh, it’s a big country, blah blah. Well, they can’t even get good mobile phone coverage in a small city like San Francisco.

Deirdre' Straughan

Telecom Italia needs to get its act together on the home front before it has a prayer of winning any other market. Telecom’s customer service is notorious in Italy (see URL above for just one story…).

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