SNCF Réseau's new subsidiary, Terralpha, has arrived to market the bandwidth offered by the more than 20,000 km of fibre that snake through mainland France under the train tracks. As the fibres are pulled from town to town, they do not suffer from the slowdowns caused by the connections that operators put on each branch line.
In addition, this fibre network provides a national alternative to the network of the four major operators. The 2,000 alternative operators will now be able to interconnect a head office in Lille with its branch in Marseille, without having to wait for weeks for authorisation, without having to pay the high price imposed by their national competitor. And, above all, with better latency.
These more than 20,000 kilometres of fibre were already available for hire. But it was a case-by-case process: Since SNCF Réseau only provides 100 Gbit/s links, it was up to its customer to install a router at each end to carry its traffic. And apart from the major operators, no one knew how to install a router on these fibres.
To connect, Terralpha chose to partner with the Telehouse chain of colocation data centres. "Our strategy is to be present in the telecom marketplaces. That is to say, in the rooms reserved for the interconnections of operators in the data centres. The most important ones are on the TH2 campus of Telehouse in Paris, which brings together 300 telecom operators," argues Gabriel Chenevoy, Terralpha's CEO.
Especially since TH2 has a state-of-the-art computer system that monitors the 50,000 fibres running through its operator rooms one by one. The curvature and path of each fibre would be carefully studied.
Apart from Orange and SFR, Bouygues Telecom and Iliad are also starting to sell bandwidth on their national networks to alternative operators. Kosc was previously the only independent infrastructure operator through which local providers could offer national connectivity to their customers. It is therefore the one that Terralpha is now competing with. After financial setbacks, Kosc was finally bought out a year ago by Altitude Infrastructure, an ex-alternative operator that has refocused its activity on fibre installation.
Although Altitude Infrastructure enjoys a good image with local authorities, its challenge remains to link together fibre segments scattered over the territory. This is where Terralpha claims to have a head start.
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Source : Le Mag IT