Free to bring fibre offers on RIP network run by Orange in Mayenne

Friday 10 November 2017 | 10:29 CET | News

Free has committed to commercialising its fibre offers on the public-initiative network, known as RIP ('Reseaux d'Initiative Publique'), which will be built by Orange in the department of Mayenne between 2018 and 2021. Representing Free, Iliad's founder Xavier Niel attended the signing of the contract on 09 November, formalising the deployment, financing and management of the RIP.

Chosen from among six competing operators, Orange secured a 20-year concession for the network, pledging to invest approximately EUR 112 million to bring FTTH connectivity to 110,000 premises, with the support of around EUR 29 million in public funding.

Free's commitment is noteworthy as it comes at the outset of the RIP project, guaranteeing to end-customers in Mayenne the choice of two main national operators from the start of the commercialisation phase. Reporting on the news, Le Figaro quotes the comments made by Niel on the multiple benefits of the deal for Free, which will use the network to provide fibre backhaul to its mobile cell sites.

Niel added that Free could reach a similar arrangement for other public-initiative networks run by Orange, such as the one in Brittany, should the same conditions be offered. The Mayenne department has also gained from the partnership with Orange, as the amount of public funds necessary for the deployment has been drastically reduced from the initial scope of the project.  

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