In less than fourteen months, Axione is committed to modernising and extending the FTTH network of the Pau urban area, itself a pioneer of regional digital development in the 2000s. By late 2019, the infrastructure will enable 93,000 possible connections

In 2003, when regional super-fast broadband FTTH (Fiber to the home) digital network was first being deployed, the Pau urban area was the first to take the leap. Axione, then a young company, was selected to co-build infrastructure including 66,000 individual outlets or connections, and carry out maintenance for 15 years as part of a public service delegation.

Fifteen years later, in 2018, when this contract was renewed, the urban area of 14 municipalities, with a population of 150,000, launched a new challenge: in 14 months, the contractor was to bring the equipment up to current standards – otherwise known as “reengineering” – and create 27,000 additional connections to service the entire centre of the urban area.

“We’ve been able to win the contract and meet the deadlines to date due to the advances made by Axione in Pau, the strong presence of local teams and our project deployment organisation,”

explained Jérôme Billy, in charge of deployment at Axione for the Pau urban area and the Landes department.

Twelve months to bring everything up to current standards

Entering into force on 10 October 2018, the contract stipulates that the “reengineering” will be completed on 10 October of next year. The purpose of the operation is to replace the “point to point” technology, which was the only technology available in 2003, with GPON, which has been around for 5 years, is more economical and performs better. In twelve months, 50 kilometres of fibre are to be desaturated, the cabinet equipment (distribution points) modified and fibre connection nodes created, providing a connection to the national network.

On 10 December 2019, 27,000 new connections should be deployed and activated. This will require 66 distribution points and 5 additional fibre connection nodes to be added.
The company is prioritising use of the protective sleeves carrying the copper telephone network, and, where this is not possible, will use telephone poles or low-voltage electricity pylons, and, as a last resort, trenches in the road or on the roadside.
Arriving in June 2018 in Pau, Jérôme Billy quickly recruited around a dozen employees. His team is working directly with the two internal consultancies (based in Paris and Lille) and the five selected local subcontractors: two for civil engineering work and three specialising in fibre. The team “is working constantly to optimise the solutions proposed, making sure they meet quality and safety standards.”

Solid local support

This new construction structure can also count on the expertise of Axione’s local construction work centre, which has 25 employees, managed by Hichem Mogaadi, already operating on and maintaining the existing network. They are in dialogue with the national supervision centre (CERSS) to reduce the inconvenience to Internet subscribers.
This control centre, with over 50 employees, is based in Pau, where it was able to support construction of the area’s initial infrastructure. They are working with the company’s concession hub, which is managing the public service delegation for the next 15 years, as well as with the Sales Administration department, which is managing provision of the network to Internet service providers.
Operator of operators, Axione is committed to accommodating all telecoms operators, including the four national commercial operators: Bouygues Télécom, Free, Orange and SFR.

See you in December 2019 to assess the progress of this technical and human feat.