Axione’s Université du Très Haut Débit (Very High Speed Broadband University) event, due to take place on 5-6 October 2022 in Toulouse, serves as a reminder of the Group’s ambition: adapting the value proposition of public initiative networks in order to address new digital uses aimed at building sustainable, connected regions.

Here, Development Director Gilles Kabbani deciphers the future challenges for Axione and presents the new services for local authorities.

How does Axione plan to support local authorities in their new uses?

The environmental transition, the digital transformation of public services, cybersecurity and data sovereignty: these are all unavoidable issues that require local authorities to structure their strategy for digital use, both at the departmental and regional levels.

Within this ambition, Public Initiative Networks, in their capacity as federating infrastructures for rural communities, undoubtedly have a key role to play. As a major player in the digital development of France’s regions, Axione supports local authorities in this transition by disseminating an appropriate, innovative and high-quality digital offering structured around a shared and universal industrial platform that interconnects individuals, sites and objects.

What are the new services proposed by Axione?

After connectivity for all (general public, companies and public sites) in the shape of the Plan France Très Haut Débit (Very High Speed Broadband Plan) and its massive deployment of optical fibre, the connection of objects (via the IoT) throughout the territory has come to represent a growing need for local authorities in order to develop their own uses. This means adapting existing public networks through the deployment, along with fibre, of new technologies and innovative technical engineering.

Accordingly, in perfect harmony with the FTTH (Fibre To The Home) infrastructure, we deploy and operate LoRaWAN low-speed radio networks enabling the connection of all types of sensors, whether located in dense or rural areas, or outside or inside buildings (and sometimes even underground), in order to be able to provide connectivity services throughout the region.

The “Netcity Street” fibre optic connectivity offer enables the implementation of high value-added video protection projects with advanced image processing functions and shared supervision centres on the scale of a Public Programme of Inter-municipal Cooperation (EPCI), a French department, or beyond.

Lastly, the need to control public data calls for the deployment of local data centres situated as close as possible to users, and under the control of public authorities. This secure hosting offer complements the list of services proposed by the France’s Public Initiative Networks.

How would you assess the deployment of optical fibre and how do you see the future?

Axione has been working on the deployment of fibre optics to cover the whole of France with very high-speed broadband for almost 20 years. The target for connecting 100% of the regions by 2025 is being pursued, and employees have already ensured two-thirds of the coverage in France. The rollout could last until 2030, when the analogue telephone network will end. This digital development project is also underway in Gabon and the UK.

Access to very high speed broadband will thus be assured for 100% of France’s national territory. Axione’s second mission is to support the digital transformation of regions by completing the industrial platform deployed in the scope of Public Initiative Networks, and thus enable the implementation of programmes for connected and sustainable regions at the level of France’s departments. All of this with a view to improving quality, efficiency and costs.