Free Telecom, the largest French ISP after France Telecom, has joined the "we'll add voice for free" parade. It's the latest example of disruptive technology in action (http://www.broadbandhomecentral.com/report/backissues/Report0305_9.html). Free has been deploying DSLAMs all over France to deliver 2 Mbps broadband service to residential users for less than 30 euros per month. On July 31 Free announced that they will be offering free VoIP phone calls to all their DSL subscribers.
Fabien Maisl, Director of Communications and Partnerships at Cirpack, which is providing the next-gen telephony infrastructure, provided us the details, since our French is pretty shaky:
According to newtelephony.com Free Telecom has designed its own customer premises equipment. It is called the Freebox and includes Ethernet, USB telephone and video interfaces and is manufactured in France.
Fabien has offered to introduce us to Free Telecom's COO, since both he and we are speaking at Broadband World Forum, so we'll be able to follow up with more first-hand information next month.