On a blog post earlier this week, Yankee analyst, Benoît Felten posted a link to a new interactive map on French telecom operator Orange’s website. Although my attention is easily drawn to any form of online-based tool, this one held my attention for much longer than usual.

The map details Orange’s service coverage throughout France, highlighting the reach of ADSL, fiber and Wifi accordingly. On the right-hand side of the map you’re able to switch between these service offerings and review a range of additional data regarding upload and download speeds.

I have to confess that I spent some time switching between the different views and exploring what services are available in specific regions, comparing urban to rural, etc. It was interesting to note that only one of my friends in France has access to Orange’s FTTH offerings. The rest of my friends, although living in major cities, have no direct fiber connections.

Apart from being an attractive marketing tool, I can’t help but feel that more carriers should be offering these services. In an era of transparency and customer-centric communications, this is the type of tool that could be of real use. It’s also a great way to track the digital divide and what progress is being made to connect people.

Are you familiar with any similar maps available in other regions of Europe? If so, I’d be interested to hear from you.