Optical fibre rollout in 26 administrative departments in France

Between now and 2022, Axians France is to roll out fibre to the home (FTTH) in 26 French administrative departments to provide very high-speed broadband access for 600,000 rural households.

This large-scale operation represents a total works value of over €400 million and will create a large number of jobs. Special attention will be paid to hiring people under integration programmes.

As part of France’s very high-speed broadband plan, VINCI Energies won a series of contracts in nine French departments (Aude, Ardèche, Drôme, Essonne, Haute-Saône, Jura, Pyrénées-Orientales, Saône-et-Loire and Seine-Maritime) in 2017. These are in addition to FTTH rollout contracts previously won in 17 departments*. The projects, which cover everything from network design to rollout works, are led by Axians, the VINCI Energies information and communication technologies brand, and supported by VINCI Energies’ local specialist business units.

Job creation and integration at the heart of FTTH rollout

Numerous technical challenges lie ahead, given that, in order to connect isolated homes, each new network has to cross areas that are, by definition, difficult to reach. VINCI Energies’ strong local presence enables local authorities to capitalise on expert teams with in-depth knowledge of each region. The scope and duration of the projects will also entail strengthening the workforce by creating new jobs and recruiting people under integration programmes. In 2017, VINCI Energies business units operating in telecommunications infrastructure increased their workforce by almost 400 people and assigned nearly 100,000 hours of work to long-term unemployed people.

Optical fibre to make regions more attractive

Facing growing demand from individuals and businesses for high-speed Internet access (at least 30 megabits/second) to accommodate the exponential surge in content, local authorities are actively working to ensure optical fibre rollout in rural areas. Whether for educational purposes, gaming, video on demand or public services, FTTH is a technical solution that is well suited to very high-speed broadband access as it ensures low signal attenuation despite the distance between IT resources and their users. In addition, ultra-fast internet connections facilitate working from home, foster growth of tourism and e-commerce, and transform education and healthcare provision. For local authorities, very high-speed broadband has become a key part of attractiveness, lending momentum to their local economy and boosting their competitiveness.