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This plan, which is currently being brought to life, sets out to provide fibre-optic coverage in France by 2025 in order to increase the competitiveness and appeal of rural areas.

Dedicated project companies ensure local deployment
 
Axione is the first operator in France to host all national and regional providers delivering Internet access to general consumers, on the public initiative networks that it operates.
Thanks to a coordinated approach with its representatives, Axione provides a full range of services to its operator clients, which makes it possible to address all of the region’s needs and consequently benefits both residents and businesses. Each contributor involved plays a key role in providing access to a range of digital operations and services (new technologies and connected items, for example), thanks to a Superfast Broadband network.

For 15 years, the Loire Department and Axione have been bound together in a long-term partnership working to deliver for residents, local authorities and companies. With the first-generation Public Initiative Network from 2005 and then the first territory to be 100% covered by fibre-optic broadband and marketed for the first time in 2020 as part of the THD42 network (built by the Loire Department Inter-Municipality Energy Organisation (SIEL-TE - Syndicat Intercommunal d’Énergies du département de la Loire)), which was launched in 2015, the Loire Department embodies Axione’s ambitions and carries its DNA, by supporting the digitalisation of regions by 2025 as part of the France Superfast Broadband Plan.

Access to very high speed broadband contributes to the development of local businesses
 

In order to provide a very tangible solution to these challenges, dedicated project companies are working to oversee the local-term roll-out and operation of digital infrastructure in their local region, working in partnership with the local public body. In the Loire Department specifically, there are two dedicated project companies. On the one hand, you have the LOTIM network, the first-generation Public Initiative Network, which was created in 2005. The entire roll-out project for this network is being overseen by LOTIM Télécom, from the design phase to its construction, and then its marketing and operations. On the other hand, you have the TH42 network, built by SIEL-TE in 2015. TH42 Exploitation just oversees the marketing and long-term operation of this network through a subcontracting contract. In total, more than 13,000 km of fibre optic has been rolled out across the entire region.

The project to roll out this digital infrastructure came to fruition in August 2020, with the final distribution point in the THD42 FTTH network being marketed to local operators for the first time. More than 274 towns/villages and 185,000 homes can now receive Fibre to the Home (excluding the St Etienne Métropole and Roannais Agglomération areas). This pre-connection scheme supported by the public structure has helped to provide free access to Superfast Broadband to residents and professionals, so that residents in rural areas who currently cannot enjoy using digital technologies, will be able to embrace them.
Furthermore, providing access to digital technology has many benefits for the economic fabric of local regions, by improving the region’s appeal. As a result, this increases the number of businesses setting up there, which, thanks to the brilliant connectivity there, can help to boost their businesses. This is a really virtuous circle for all of the stakeholders involved.

This has been noted immediately in the Loire Department, with the THD42 network, which is open to all professional operators and operators from the wider public, and has helped companies to choose the most suitable range of services for their needs in order to increase their competitiveness significantly. Two directors of companies located in the local areas have shared their experiences about the benefits of fibre optic broadband on their professional activity.

Fibre optic broadband now provides me unfailing responsiveness and competitiveness. Let’s be clear: without access to Superfast Broadband, I would never have been able to live in the countryside and enjoy this standard of living!

Matthieu Pardon Founder of two start-ups (Douzaleur and 3fois4)

Now, with the company benefitting from dedicated fibre broadband, uploads are much smoother and take a maximum of around one to two hours with very large files. The speed at which websites open is also incomparable

Maud Brunel-Fontaine CEO of BRUNEL SYNERGIE

Building on this experience from the roll-out across the Loire Department, the Loire Department Inter-Municipality Energy Organisation (SIEL-TE), together with THD 42 Exploitation, was awarded the status of “fibre-optic area” from telecommunications regulation agency ARCEP las December for an area encompassing 23 towns/villages, before expanding the area to other town/village communities. Being awarded this status highlights the success and strengths of the public-private partnership model, which has made it possible to accomplish objectives that serve the public interest.

This also reflects the commitment of each stakeholder to create new digital infrastructure to bolster regional development and attractiveness. In addition, this highlights the objectives of equality and solidarity that Axione and its public service public service delegations have been sharing for many years.

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Contact : David DAROUSSIN
Concession Director - Axione
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