€242m aid to end France’s web blackspots
Ten departments are being targeted with €242million aid to end web blackspots and give 4.7million homes high-speed internet.
Funds go to Côte d’Or, Dordogne, Gard, Hérault, Mayenne, Nièvre, Orne, Somme, Tarn-et-Garonne and Yonne, where internet speeds are poor.
Totals vary from €3million in Gard to almost €45million in Dordogne.
Dominique Girard, mayor of Flammerans, Côte d’Or, said it had lost two businesses because of slow web speeds. “Now we have fibre-optic cabling to the village centre and use the old copper network to homes. Soon fibre will go to every house.
“Previously, I had 0.5MB and it was too slow for big files, now I have 80MB and it’s so fast.
“Farmers will be delighted as big EU application files would take a day and a half to send but will now go in an hour.”
In all, 21.6million French homes can get fibre-optic internet. The new money only gives fibre if it is best, as 4G or satellite may be better in rural areas.
The aim is 100% coverage of up to 8mbps (or 1MB) next year and 30mbps (3.75MB) by 2022.
Mobile firms are being forced to speed up 4G upgrades or face tougher penalties.
Ministers say 75% of the 9,976 no-coverage zones blanches should have 4G in 2020.