French government presents digital services plan

Tuesday 21 October 2008 | 08:26 CET | News
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France's secretary of state for the digital economy, Eric Besson, has presented the Digital France 2012 plan, comprising 154 measures covering internet services, mobile telephony and broadcasting. The plan aims to provide all French citizens with access to broadband services, ending the 'digital divide' that currently leaves 1-2 million homes without access to broadband networks. A tender will be issued next year for the provision of universal broadband internet service from 2010, for up to EUR 35 per month. The government also aims to have connected 4 million homes to very high-speed services by 2012. Investment in fibre is expected to reach EUR 10 billion over ten years. The government will also launch in 2009 an electronic ID card that will allow holders to prove their identity on the internet, in addition to official and medical applications. A tender to allocate more 3G mobile phone spectrum will be launched in the first quarter of 2009, favouring new entrants or existing service providers who propose the best terms to MVNOs, Beson said. He added that it was not a case of imposing or excluding a fourth operator. On the subject of digital TV broadcasting, the minister announced that Alsace would be the first region where analogue broadcasting will stop, at the end of 2009. Three local switchover pilots will take place in Coulommiers at the end of this year, Kayserberg in the second quarter of 2009 and Cherbourg in the second half of 2009. All of France is due to switch to digital TV before 30 November 2011.

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Categories: Broadcast & Satellite / Internet / Mobile & Wireless
Countries: France
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