Vive la revolution !
PARIS, FRANCE – 40 °C/105 °F – On July 14th, France was on holiday for the celebration of the 1789 Revolution (“Bastille Day”).Is a new revolution about to happen in Paris ? The Mayor of Paris -Bertrand Delanoa« – has announced a few days ago a plan to promote the”digital revolution”! The key points of this announcement :+ Objective is set : 80% of Paris buildings connected to fibre by 2010+ Ease operational deployments of FTTH : 90% discounted rights of way through sewers for 400 last meters to access buildings. + Make next generation broadband more visible : Creation of a label “smart building” to make the fibre-connected building more valuable and attractive for investors and tenants. + Encourage share of costs of passive infrastructures deployment : Rules for real-estate players to plan for and share ducts inside buildings. + Deployment of 400 free Wifi access points in public sites such as libraries, gardens, city halls, … + Offer to network operators some strategic high points for wireless deployments (notably Wimax)In Europe, the main cities are more and more aware that next generation broadband infrastructure is a key asset in the global competition between major poles of economic activity. But cities have different approaches : facilitating role only, public funding for passive infrastructures, investment into a public private partnership. Paris selected the first option because the primary passive infrastructure is mostly in place with the network of sewers, and because a public intervention would have been delicate from a regulatory standpoint in such a competitive context -Paris being already covered by DSL and cable.This political will and clear strategy should hopefully result in some interesting FTTx announcements from service providers in 2006 or beginning 2007 ! And will hopefully contribute to trigger the migration journey of France towards next generation broadband !In the meantime, a personal request to the Mayor of Paris : please install air conditioning in the subway !http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1035_22-6090503.html