France's Free: broadband innovation
journal contributionposted on 2017-06-13, 02:29 authored by Barr, Trevor
The debates in Australia about national policy and operational complexities of the Rudd government's bold National Broadband Network (NBN) plan have recently shifted focus towards issues about end users. Many questions arise, such as what services might be offered, by whom and who is likely to have access to the new broadband services at what cost. A continuing examination of different case studies of international broadband experiences to see what best practices might be applied to Australian circumstances could be valuable. This paper offers a case study of one of the most successful broadband companies in Europe: Free in France. Three major factors seem to be behind the success of Free: its remarkable founder and financier, Xavier Niel, its contribution to the implementation of constructive changes to the telecommunications regulatory regime since 2001, and the creation and development of widely accepted consumer services. So might any of its experiences be transferable to Australia's NBN challenges during the next five years? Copyright 2009 Trevor Barr. No part of this article may be reproduced by any means without the written consent of the publisher.