National information infrastructure

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Tables and Figures

Table 1. Employment in France by sectors


Agriculture 1,760

(8,20%) 1,250


Manufacturing 7,345

(34,2%) 6,690


Services 12,360

(57,6%) 14,290


Total 21,465


Source: Breton Report

Table 2. The Commission's Action Plan "Europe's way towards the Information society"

Following the Bangemann report, the European Commission adopted in July 1994 an Action plan which is organized along 4 themes:

- review of the telecommunications regulatory framework in order to provide a fully liberalized environment

- development of networks, applications and new services though European pilot projects

- study of the social and cultural impact of the Information society

- promotion of the Information society

In parallel, the Fourth R&D Framework Programme was launched for the period 1994-199. This programme embraces all Community supported R&D activities. About 30% of funding will be devoted to topics related to information technology and communications. By contrast with previous programmes, a new line was added to carry out targeted socio-economic research. However, this effort will represent less than 1% of funding distributed.

Table 3. Examples of projects accepted for trials

National platforms

- atm network

- renater 2 (network linking universities and research centers)

- Education network (linking primary and secondary schools in 13 regions)

Regional platforms

(12 are proposed by regional authorities)

- cristal project piloted by Conseil régional d'Alsace: Building up of a of network linking all cities in the region as well as universities. Will provide access to jobs listings, social security information, regional information,

- Project sponsored by Conseil régional Midi Pyrénées. Access to the Internet and exchange of teaching experiences among schools.


- batru -Bringing atm to Residential Users - piloted by France Télécom (Brest/Lille): atm network to provide videophone and on-line banking and retail services using twisted pairs

- Multicâble (Paris, 2,500 households): "Electronic village" with telephone service, access to the Internet, on-line information, shopping services on cable tv.

Similar trials will take place in Annecy (8,000 households) and Nice (5 to 10,000 households).

- Teleport (Roubaix)

- mmds (Haute-Vienne, Corse)

Source: Personal interviews, December 1995

Table 4. Selected France Télécom multimedia trials

Type of services


Information for consumers

(Magic Yellow Pages)Office d'Annonces

(subsidiary of Havas)

On-line information and transaction services

(France en ligne)Bellanger, Fillipacchi Groups

One-stop shopping for business travels

Havas, Hertz

Video games loading

Sony, Lyonnaise Communications

Video-On-Demand, Near-Video-On-DemandTF1

On-line information services, shopping, banking

(Multicâble)Lyonnaise Communications

Source: Busson, 1995

Table 5. The growth of cable TV in France



Homes passed


Homes connected


Source: Agence Câble and Association des villes câblées

Table 6. Directorates involved in European IS policy

DG III - Industry

DG IV - Competition

DG X - Information, Communication, Culture and Audiovisual

DG XII - Science Research and Development

DG XIII - Telecommunications, Information market and Exploitation of Research

DG XV - Internal Market and Financial Services

Table 7. French households' equipment in communication devices


Penetration rate


with multiple sets95%



Videocassette recorder60%

CD player60%

Video games station35%



with CD-ROM

with modems20%



Source: Author's analysis

CountryName of the public telecommunication operator

State of privatization

BelgiumBelgacom49,9% in progress

BritainBritish Telecom100%


FranceFrance TélécomPartial

Postponed to 1996 due to unions opposition

GermanyDeutsche Telekom25% planned in mid-1996, another 25% two years later. The privatisation would be carried out through a subsequent increase of capital, while the German

State would retain its shares until the year 2000.

GreeceOTE6 to 8% planned in 1996

Previous attempts to privatize 49% than 25% failed due to political and unions opposition

ItalySTETPlanned in 1996

IrelandTelecom Eireann Sell-off of 35% planned

NetherlandsKoninklijke PTT Nederland (KPN).30% privatised in 1994

Sell off of .another third in progress

Government does not intend to reduce its stake to less than one third before 2004

PortugalPortugal Telecom (PT)25 to 30% planned in 1996

SpainTelefonica12% sold off in Fall 1995. The move will reduce the state's stake to 20% from 32%.

SwedenTeliaPlanned by 1997

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