Words from experts

Gilles Kabbani, Director of Strategy, Markets and Regulation at Axione

Our mission is to provide access to Very High Speed broadband to support the development of innovative solutions throughout France.

#1: What are Axione’s ambitions and the challenges for local authorities?

Axione’s business plan is based on designing, building, operation, and marketing infrastructure that democratises digital access and usage. Our company was initially seen as a pioneer, then as the leader in the development of Public Initiative Networks, and our ambition is to continually innovate for the residents and businesses in local areas.

Ever since Axione’s inception in 2003, it has been able to respond to the ambitions of local authorities in terms of local digital development, with, as a first stage, the deployment of broadband for everyone, then from 2013 onwards, the roll-out of FTTH (Fibre To The Home) as part of the Very High Speed France Plan. This plan is currently being implemented, and the aim is to ensure that the whole of mainland France is covered by fibre optic cables by 2025.

Our role is to connect the whole of the French people, businesses and public institutions in the areas where Axione operates. This ambition is a general interest project, as it involves a service that has become a universal one. It is a real challenge to build the digital future in collaboration with the stakeholders in the regions. Our priority is to listen and advise so that we can provide better assistance.

Focus on Very High Speed Broadband

Access to very high speed broadband bolsters regional competitiveness and appeal while supporting the modernisation of public services – in rural areas as well. 
The Very High Speed Plan is unique in Europe, and is an unprecedented challenge that seeks to underline the attractiveness of France, enable all French citizens to gain access to the digital world and develop innovative public services throughout the country.

#2: What are our commitments to the regions?

Our expertise and experience gained over 15 years and more bear witness to our ability to respond to the needs of local authorities. The projects we have rolled out in the regions are the outcome of collaborative work between the different stakeholders and public and private actors, as well as our investing partners.

Our success is based on the relationship of trust we have built with our delegators, operating clients and shareholders. We have been able to create long-lasting partnerships that are rooted in our ability to achieve excellence as regards the technical and commercial goals of the projects. What’s more, this relationship of trust is strengthened by our historic positioning as a “neutral operator”, the sole guarantor of the perfect alignment of interests with our clients.

Our strong regional presence is reinforced by the close relationship we have with the various local stakeholders. We approach every project in a distinct way by responding to the specifics found in the regions and their own particular priorities. This is the way that we have been able to develop unique, innovatory solutions in regions where there is little employment, by coordinating with local social players and training bodies that are capable of working in the construction and maintenance of fibre-optics. We also make a contribution to the vitality of rural departments by assisting with the development of local start-ups in the digital sector, which on our networks frequently become essential regional operators by offering services that are adapted to meet the needs of a well-managed economic environment.

#3: What are the prospects for developing our solutions in the regions?

The infrastructures that we are developing belong to the local authorities. We have long-term operating and marketing contracts, some lasting up to 30 years.

Our job is to be providing scalable services that are always completely in step with the needs and policies of these local authorities. This is because regional stakeholders need to be accompanied in their digital transition to enable public institutions, local businesses and people living in rural areas to have access to a level of service that is at least equivalent to what people living in more densely-populated areas can pretend. Our projects are contributing to improvements in the economic and social attractiveness of the French regions.

Today, these networks are getting bigger and better. Local authorities are looking to companies to work with them to provide new digital uses for current infrastructure. The challenge is to develop connected regions by modernising all the public services via digitalisation. The automation and supervision of actions, in particular by using captors and the Internet of Things (IOT) offers the promise of optimising the management of the services provided to the people to develop towns and villages with greater efficiency, sustainability, security and inclusivity. A number of projects are currently being studied, in the areas of public lighting, video-surveillance and the monitoring of the energy consumption in buildings.

Working in conjunction with local actors to support the development of these projects demands that we maintain this closeness with local stakeholders in order to harness everyone’s energy behind a transition policy.

Indeed, all stakeholders will be mobilised to ensure the roll-out of connected regions: local authorities, operators and our company, Axione.

Crédit photo : Agence RJS

“So today, the challenge is to carry out regional digital transition by developing the current network infrastructure. Now, more than ever, we are innovating”.

Spotlight on the deployment of fibre optic in areas covered by Axione 

 175 partner telecoms operators

1.2 million FTTH connections already being operated

400,000 FTTH customers

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In what way is the provision of fibre optics a draw towards more rural regions and therefore contributory to their economic development?

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