FIBRE OPTIC ROLLOUT: TARGETS ACHIEVED!
Digital network developer La Fibre Paloise has completed itsdeployment of fibre optic internet to cover 100% of the Pau Béarn Pyrénées agglomeration community. Almost 100,000 households and businesses will have access to superfast internet packages from all network operators.
A SIZEABLE CHALLENGE
For both the local government and the La Fibre Paloise company (the concession holder in charge of the operation), this digital development initiative was a major undertaking for the benefit of the local population, and represented a sizeable challenge.
Residents of Pau and its hinterland were all affected by the operation: Lons, Billère, Lescar, Bizanos and Idron, as well as large portions of the towns of Gelos, Jurançon, Mazères-Lezons and Lée.
TWELVE MONTHS TO BRING EVERYTHING UP TO CURRENT STANDARDS
In 2003, when regional superfast FTTH (Fibre to the home) digital networks were first being rolled out, the Pau Béarn Pyrénées Agglomeration was the first to take the leap. Axione, then a young company, was selected to co-build infrastructure and carry out its maintenance for 15 years as part of a public service concession.
Fifteen years later, as the concession contract was renewed in 2018, the local government, which covers 31 communes with a combined population of over 160,000, set a new challenge: within 12 months, the contractor was to bring the equipment up to current standards—otherwise known as “reengineering”, which enables new operators to access the system—and create additional connections to service the entire centre of the agglomeration.
THE GAMBLE PAYS OFF
The project has now hit all its targets and achieved success: since mid-December, six townships have 100% fibre optic network coverage, with service packages available from all existing network operators.
MAKING WAY FOR NEW USES
Guiding the public and professional users through new ways of using technology is a major priority for La Fibre Paloise. Should they have queries, Pau residents have access to a number of tools, such as one outlining the steps involved in connecting to the network, as well as a dedicated hotline (0811 88 64 00 – €0.06 per minute + cost of a local call) and a dedicated website for the project (www.lafibrepaloise.fr).
In addition, a number of information campaigns have been deployed with the general public as their target audience. For example, on 14 and 15 December at the Tempo shopping centre in Pau, a connected home was set up in the commercial gallery in order to give shoppers a first-hand view of the uses and benefits of fibre optic internet. At the same time, service providers are ramping up their commercial operations aimed at residents and companies.
PROJECT BENEFITS FOR EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING
From the outset of the project, a training and workplace integration platform has been established in order to address communal needs. A partnership has been set up between Greta Sud Aquitaine, the Lycée Saint Cricq in Pau and the Lycée Guyenemer in Oloron.
La Fibre Paloise had a contractual obligation to provide 20,000 hours of work placements during the construction and modernization of the network. This goal was surpassed by quite a margin, as by the end of October 2019 over 26,500 hours had been logged. During the network operational phase, La Fibre Paloise has committed to maintaining its professional training and work experience efforts over the course of the next few years.
Insourcing locally for all its areas of expertise helps to foster a truly dynamic environment for local development. La Fibre Paloise and Axione are still recruiting new talent in the area for the following roles:
- Research officer,
- Operations Foreman
- Telecoms technicians
- Maintenance & Repair operative
- Sales staff and administrative personnel
Anyone interested in these roles can find out more information in the careers section of the www.axione.fr website.