Superfast broadband for everyone: a local priority

For the Pau Béarn Pyrénées urban area authority (CAPBP) in south-western France, commitment to a policy of digital infrastructure development represents a key priority. “Pau Broadband Country”, France’s first full fibre network, was a pioneering project in terms of superfast broadband rollout, making Pau one of the first large French cities to enjoy FTTH (Fibre to the Home) coverage.

The urban area authority will have invested more than €36 million since 2003 in the construction of France’s first public superfast fibre network. The network operation and marketing aspects were initially entrusted to AXIONE via the company Société Paloise pour le Très Haut-Débit (SPTHD), as part of an affermage contract signed in 2003. The contract is set to expire in October 2018.

The network currently includes some 63,000 possible fibre connections, serving around 68% of the 92,000 premises covered within the urban area’s initial scope, before it was extended to 31 further municipalities. Since this extension in January 2017, 67,000 additional premises are to be connected.

New public service concession contract  

On 31 May 2018, the urban area authority voted in favour of awarding a new public service concession contract for superfast broadband to the company “La Fibre Paloise”.
Set up by a consortium comprising Axione, Bouygues Energies & Services and Axione
Infrastructures, La Fibre Paloise will fulfil the project commitments towards the urban area authority. The most immediate challenge facing the company is to continue and finalise the process started under the first concession contract, completing service coverage both from a geographical and marketing point of view.
The contract is due to start on 10 October 2018 for a period of 15 years.