Super-fast broadband: French fibre rollout attracts €200m loan

French broadband company Iliad has taken out a loan for hundreds of millions of Euros to enable it take fibre to the home and ADSL2+ to more homes and businesses.

France's second biggest broadband company has taken out a €200m loan to finance its deployment of next-generation infrastructure in the country.

Iliad Group, which owns the ISP Free, announced this week that it had taken out the loan with the European Investment Bank (EIB). The majority of the loan -- 65 percent -- will be spent on fibre to the home (FTTH), according to the bank.

The company will also use the cash to build out its ADSL2+ network, and to encourage unbundling.

The loan is the second that Iliad has taken out with the bank: in 2010, it borrowed €150m also for the rollout of FTTH. At the time, the EIB said Iliad intended to take high-speed connections to four million homes in France by the end of 2012.

While there are currently over 23 million broadband subscriptions in France, just 220,000 of which are FTTH, according to recent figures from the French communications regulator Arcep. However, around 5.4 million homes are now able to access super-fast broadband, either over cable or fibre.

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