FT CEO slams "uneven" home broadband market

France Telecom’s boss says regulator Arcep should cut it some slack to boost the telco’s competitiveness in its domestic fixed-line broadband market.
Stephane Richard called on the regulator to reassess his firm’s position in the market, claiming it no longer holds a dominant place in fixed-line broadband provision.
“The game is uneven,” he told French daily Le Monde. “We still have 20,000 employees in call centers in France, while SFR and Free sharply outsourced these jobs.”
France Telecom’s CEO says the firm would consider cutting prices to boost its fixed-line broadband performance, as part of a new five-year plan to be unveiled July 1.
While the strategic plan has yet to be finalised, Richards said he wants to invest in TV services, web portals and mobile applications stores, admitting the firm had been slow to respond to Apple’s App Store.
The CEO also said “tens of millions of Euros” would be spent on improving social conditions at the telco, following a spate of suicides in recent years.
He said that situation was slowly improving, but that far-reaching changes to the firm’s management structure were still required.
However, Richard refused to allow his firm to take all of the blame for staff suicides, noting that some personal problems are only to be expected among a staff of over 100,000 people.