France Plans Universal High-Speed Internet Access
PARIS, July 10 -- The French government plans to ensure that the entire country has access to high-speed Internet links within five years, said a spokesman for Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. The project will allow local communities to access low-cost loans worth some $1.3 billion to build high-speed Web connections.
In addition, a government agency will look into the possibility of using existing electricity networks owned by state utility Electricite de France as a piggyback for a fiber optic network. Jospin's office estimated the total cost of high-speed coverage for the entire country was some 30 billion francs, but recognized that private companies were unlikely to foot the entire bill because of poor profit prospects in low-populated areas.
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