FIBRE44, a company formed by the Axione group, Vauban Infrastructure Partners and the Banque des Territoires, has announced the signing of a 30-year public service delegation contract for the deployment and operation of the optical fibre network (290,000 FTTH sockets at term) for the Département of Loire Atlantique, as well as the implementation of the 1st “Sustainable Loan” in the fibre telecoms sector in France, awarded by banking partners (Caisse d’Epargne Bretagne Pays de Loire, Natixis, Société Générale and Industrial and Commercial Credit (CIC, Crédit Industriel et Commercial)) to FIBRE44. This operation is part of the Loire-Atlantique 100% fibre objective by 2025 for private individuals, businesses and public services.
An ambitious, exemplary and socially inclusive objective
The contract has a twofold objective: to build and operate 179,000 sockets within 4 years in addition to the FTTH sockets deployed by the Département, and then, before 2027, take over all the deployed infrastructure (around 290,000 FTTH sockets) and provide for their technical and commercial operation until 2050.
Axione can draw on experience with local authorities dating back to 2003 and has the support of its financial partners Vauban and the Banque des Territoires, and is therefore committed to an ambitious and credible deployment schedule that is consistent with its current constraints.
Labelled funding, reflecting the sustainable and committed nature of the project
This operation will be carried out entirely using funding from FIBRE44 shareholders (Axione, Vauban and Banque des Territoires), and banking partners (Caisse d’Epargne Bretagne Pays de Loire, Natixis, Société Générale and the CIC).
FIBRE44 is getting the first sustainable loan certification in the fibre telecoms sector for the project’s bank financing from Vigeo Eiris, a leading international social and environmental rating agency, with the support of its Natixis board, thus confirming its strong commitment and the project’s benefits for social and sustainable development in the département of Loire-Atlantique.
FIBRE44 is becoming a key player in reducing the digital divide between the département’s dense areas and rural areas through this project, and will provide access to Very High Speed Broadband for the département’s entire population. FIBER44 is also committed to deploying a volume of
250,000 hours of vocational integration and training over the duration of the contract. In total, more than 500 jobs will be mobilized for this vast development project.
“Digital has become essential infrastructure for the regions. Vauban’s role, as an investor, is to enable local authorities to seize this development opportunity. By signing this fibre deployment project in the département of Loire-Atlantique covering public initiative networks, Vauban confirms its commitment to mobilizing the long-term resources of institutional investors to place them at the service of the real economy and to have a sustainable positive impact. Obtaining this first “Sustainable Loan” certification is an innovative process and fully reflects our strategy as an active and responsible investor.” Gwenola Chambon, Managing Director of Vauban Infrastructure Partners
“Through its role as a digital developer, Axione supports communities in their territorial digital transition in order to amplify local and collaborative dynamics. Deploying optical fibre in all premises in Loire Atlantique not only enhances everyone’s accessibility to digital uses and services, but also enables the emergence of innovative solutions that can be deployed locally and contribute to contemporary challenges.Beyond the construction and operation of digital infrastructure, FIBRE44 intends to be a responsible local player that is committed both at a societal and environmental level. The implementation of this first sustainable loan in the fibre sector demonstrates a first concrete commitment to developing long-lasting financial, technical, organizational and partnership solutions that are part of a dynamic of local and sustainable development.”
Eric Jammaron, Deputy CEO at Axione
“The Banque des Territoires is joining forces with its long-standing partners, Axione and Vauban Infrastructure Partners, to invest in the deployment of fibre in Loire-Atlantique. We remain more fully committed than ever to combating the digital divide: Fibre44 is thus the 27th public initiative network supported by the Banque des Territoires in France, and the fourth in the Pays-de-la-Loire region. With this first sustainable loan for a public initiative network granted to the project company (of which the Banque des Territoires is a shareholder), the Banque des Territoires also confirms its commitment to a sustainable and socially responsible digital transition.The certification of the debt borne by Fibre44 is therefore perfectly in line with the example-setting of our investment approach in the digital infrastructure sector.These certifications constitute an important attestation of transparency to ensure that our investments not only contribute to bringing very high speed broadband to rural or suburban areas, but also that they actually benefit employment, integration and in fine the local economy.“
Philippe Jusserand, Regional Director of the Banque des Territoires
Axione, owned by Bouygues Energies & Services and Vauban Infrastructure Partners, is a major player in the digital development of rural and urban areas. Partner committed to the
Very High Speed Broadband Plan for France, Axione designs, builds, finances and operates new generation digital fixed and mobile infrastructure on its own account and for that of local authorities or service operators. Levering intensity of competition and diversity of uses and services,
Axione operates in all French regions (very dense areas and less dense areas) and offers telecoms operators Very High Speed Broadband access services for their subscribers by sharing its digital infrastructure, open and accessible to everyone (6 million FTTH sockets in France). Almost 150 operators use the networks operated by Axione.
Vauban Infrastructure Partners (“Vauban”) is a management company of the BPCE group, dedicated to infrastructure investments. Vauban operates on the European market in 4 sectors: digital infrastructure, mobility, energy transition and social infrastructure, with landmark investments such as Oc’via – Nîmes-Montpellier Bypass, the Ministry of Defense in Balard, the Nord Pas de Calais Very High Speed Broadband or Cityfast. Vauban’s strategic positioning is based on a vision of long-term investment aimed at sustainable returns and a strong commitment to all stakeholders. Vauban’s team is made up of 40 professionals who have been working together for ten years. Vauban now manages more than 4 billion Euros with more than 40 investors through six infrastructure funds and has made more than 60 investments in more than ten countries.
About the Banque des Territoires
Created in 2018, the Banque des Territoires is one of the five businesses of the Caisse des Dépôts. It groups together internally into a single structure expertise intended for the regions. A single gateway for customers, it offers tailor-made loan and investment advice and financing solutions to meet the needs of local authorities, social housing organizations, local public companies and the legal professions. It is aimed at all the regions, from rural areas to metropolitan ones, with the aim of combating social inequalities and regional divides. The Banque des Territoires is deployed in the 16 regional directorates and the 35 regional offices of the Caisse des Dépôts in order to be better identified with its customers and to be as close as possible to them.
For regions that are more attractive, inclusive, sustainable and connected.