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Vivendi-owned SFR said 1.5 million homes will be within range of its fibre service from the end of 2013, with a promotional price of 9.99 per month for a year. Iliad’s Free in turn said its fibre to the home service would be available to Free Revolution subscribers at no extra charge. Its existing phone, broadband and TV packages start at 29.99 a month. The two operators also unveiled new VDSL offerings to complement their fibre rollouts from 1 October, which is the date from which commercial VDSL2 services are permitted on a nationwide basis in France according to French regulator Arcep. Tests have been carried out on the technology in the Dordogne and the Gironde departments since April. SFR cited information from Arcep that said an upgrade to VDSL2 could give six percent of the 31 million copper lines in France download speeds of more than 30Mbps. Orange, France’s biggest telco, has already been investing in VDSL2, equipping 16 percent of its lines in the country with the technology. SFR said ‘Box de SFR’ customers with eligible lines would benefit from VDSL technology free of charge and could order the upgrade via their online accounts, while VDSL will be available to new customers subscribing to a 19.99 Multi-Pack plan with a bundled-in mobile plan. Free also said eligible ADSL users will now get higher-speed connections via ADSL2+ or VDSL2 for no extra cost. However, Free has already come under fire from Arcep for what the regulator describes as misleading information about the two high-speed broadband services. With regard to the fibre, Free is claiming its FTTH offering is far better than the GPON approach being taken by other French operators because each subscriber will receive a dedicated 1Gbps line.

Seperate multiple addresses with Commas. Must enter an email address. You must enter the verification code below to send. Invalid entry: Please type the verification code again. October 2, 2013, 1:35 p.m. ET France Fines RyanAir EUR8M For Locating Employees in Ireland — Update Text By Inti Landauro PARIS–A French criminal court ordered Ireland-based low-cost airline RyanAir Holdings PLC (RYA.DB) to pay 8 million euros ($10.9 million) in fines and damages for hiring its staff flying from and to Marseille with Irish contracts, not French ones between 2006 and 2010. The airline insisted the practice is legal and respects European Union rules. The conflict is another case of EU countries fighting to prevent global companies such as internet giants, airlines or fast food chains from shopping around to pick the countries where taxes are the lowest. The French court ruled that RyanAir had to respect a 2006 decree that forces airlines in France to pay their staff under French contracts and file taxes and social security contributions in France, RyanAir and a French union of commercial airlines flight attendants and pilots said separately Wednesday after the court hearing. The Irish contracts don’t offer the same level of social benefits to workers as French contracts do, said Fatiha Aggoune, the president of the Syndicat National du Personnel Navigant de Cabine, a union representing flight attendants and pilots in France but doesn’t have any member at RyanAir. She added RyanAir enjoyed an unfair advantage over competitors thanks to lower payroll costs, since the payments involved are higher in France than in Ireland. The union was among a series of plaintiffs sueing the Irish airline. The decree violates European Union legislation and seeks to prevent low-cost from entering the market, RyanAir said.

France to train Afghan deputy provincial governors

The deputy governors would be trained for one week at the national and social university in France. After that, they would be sent to some provinces of France which have geographic similarity with the provinces of Afghanistan. They would get new experience in good governance, he added. He went on to say that 15 deputy governors had already been sent to France, and that 10 more deputy governors would be sent to France soon. On the occasion, the French deputy ambassador to Kabul said the deputy provincial governors were getting experience in good governance on international level in France. He hoped they would serve their people more effectively after they return back after one month of training. Deputy governors also took part in the meeting where they termed such programmes important for getting new experience in their services. Addressing the gathering, the Samangan deputy governor, Akhtar Muhammad Akhunzada said they would get benefit of the experience of France during the training. According to officials of Independent Directorate of Local Governance, deputy governors in all the provinces of Afghanistan, except Balkh and Kandahar, had been appointed on the basis of pure merit. They say lack of experience were confronting them in performing their duties. Programmes for empowering provincial administrations have been paced up.