This morning at the Ultra-Broadband Summit at the Odebit Conference in Paris, Mr Eric Besson, Minister of State to the Prime Minister, with responsibility for Forward Planning, Assessment of Public Policies and Development of the Digital Economy, introduced the draft plan for Digital Economy by 2012 - read the full text here (link in french).
The one thing that will change the game : France is going aerial cabling. Mr Besson cited Japan and South Korea as the most advanced countries for FTTH, emphasizing on the fact that those countries are deploying mostly aerial fiber. Also, Mr Besson cited USA, where 60% of the fiber cables are aerial. Last, Mr Besson said that aerial cabling reduces the cost of deployment by a factor of 2.
That is the best news I've heard from a member of the French Government since years. Finally, we are to join the "smart club" : aerial cabling is faster, easier, and cheaper than any other solution - buried, ducts...
The french cable manufacturer Acome has developed a solution for fiber deployment along low-voltage power lines which do inverse the traditional ratio Civil Engineering vs. The Rest (i.e. cables, hardware, network equipments, install, etc.) : 20/80 against 80/20 traditionally. Let's work on the 80%, by reducing some costs, such as hardware and/or commissioning for instance, and we will reach an even more attractive solution.
We have now the opportunity to develop truly innovative ways to deploy fiber to everyone faster and cheaper. That is a challenge I hope we at the Pau Broadband Country will be able to help solving.