Friday Fiber New Roudup (Bouygues, Free, NZ and BT)

I haven't been very good at posting these last couples of weeks, for which I apologise. In case you're dying for some fiber news and more besides, here are a few links to satisfy your craving. I will make every effort to blog about net neutrality, wikileaks, google and other fiber related topics next week. Meanwhile:

Bouygues Telecom (France) who had recently announced that they were using Numéricable's cable network to deploy and offer "fiber" services to end-user announced yesterday that they were also partnering with SFR to co-invest in horizontal network deployment in dense urban areas. Regulator ARCEP applauds loudly. This makes a whole lot of sense for SFR, especially considering that – as I've pointed out in the past – SFR's customer density is lower than Free's and therefore their "ladder of investment" business model less sound. What it tells us about Bouygues Telecom's trust in Numéricable's network I haven't made up my mind on yet.

Free (France) announced that their new router + set-top-box combo would be released on December 14th. It's not particularly fiber related (although I'd be surprised if it didn't have a few features heading in that direction) but since Free made a lot of news saying this would be an industry revolution, it's still worth mentioning. I'm trying to find more about it in order to report in more depth.

The first Ultra Fast Broadband bids in New Zealand have been awarded. The two bids awarded will cover altogether 12% of the population. Ultra Fast Fiber Limited (owned by WEL Networks) won the bid for Hamilton (including Cambridge and Te Awamutu), Tauranga, Tokoroa, New Plymouth and Hawera, roughly 14% of the total UFB build. Northpower Ltd. won the bid for Wanganui, toughly 1.6% of the total build. The price for the UFB entry-level product (30 megabits per second (Mbps) Downstream / 10 Mbps Upstream with a 2.5 Mbps committed information rate will be $40 or less. Note that the bid for Auckland hasn't been awarded. This one is the most contentious politically: Telecom New Zealand's bid is non-compliant, but if the bid is awarded to any other party it effectively means TCNZ will no longer be in the access market within 5-10 years…

And finally, thanks to James Enck who posted a funny blog post about BT's Infinity, here is there advert for Next Generation Broadband. When I lived in Britain 15 years ago this would typically have been described as a "French" advert, ie. one that doesn't tell you what the product is or highlights any of its benefits. Go figure…