France Télécom (FT) has announced plans to launch a very high speed fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) pilot programme to households in Hauts-de-Seine and Paris, which will go live before the summer of 2006. In a press statement, the French telco said it would begin testing FTTH in several thousand homes in the area to determine the technology’s capabilities and gauge customer reaction to new services such as high definition TV (HDTV), video-on-demand (VOD), multi-user VoIP and videoconferencing, and online gaming. Explaining the timing of the FTTH trial, FT said that while its existing copper-based DSL services were able to cope with existing demand for broadband access, in future fibre network alternatives would be needed to cope with increased access bandwidth requirements that will most likely render traditional technologies obsolete. Following the initial test programme the carrier plans to ‘ramp up its pilot programmes to cover other regions of France or abroad by 2007’. Other countries where FT already offers broadband services include Poland, Spain, the UK, the Netherlands, Algeria, Morocco, Jordan, Mauritius and Madagascar.
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