To address the challenge of digital transformation in the UK, Axione supported by its shareholders Bouygues Energies & Services and Vauban Infrastructure Partners has created Axione Fibre, a company dedicated to deploying and operating a full-fibre network targeting sub-urban and rural areas to help bridge the digital divide.

Axione Fibre will design, build and operate a wholesale full-fibre network. Based on an open access network model, Axione Fibre acts as a wholesale-only operator partnering with internet service providers, integrators, operators and channel partners to offer reliable ultrafast broadband services to end-users.

This £300m investment raised along with third party equity partners is the first phase of a large-scale project aiming to reach 4 million premises throughout the UK.

Axione Fibre will be able to rely on its shareholders’ experience, knowhow, and financial strength to achieve this major project alongside building on Axione’s industrial and commercial expertise backed by Bouygues Group, a major international player in construction and telecommunications, and Vauban Infrastructure Partners, an affiliate of Natixis, a major investment management company in the infrastructure space.

Axione have a long history of successfully deploying and operating digital infrastructure assets. Axione was a pioneer in the deployment of full fibre networks in France operating under an open-access model. This success resides first and foremost in a philosophy based on developing essential digital infrastructure to support local social and economic transformation.

Dominique Astier, Managing Director of Axione UK, said: “Full-fibre networks are essential infrastructure to deliver digital services to all residential, corporate and public sector premises. Axione is delighted to partner with Vauban to create Axione Fibre, a large scale FTTP pure wholesale operator targeting small towns and villages across the UK”.

Pierre Vanstoflegatte, Managing Director of the Bouygues Construction Energies & Services Division; Chairman of Bouygues Energies & Services and President of Axione, said: “Having proved the strength of its model in France, Axione is leveraging its expertise in the UK, a key market in the development strategy of Bouygues Construction’s energy and services division, through Axione Fibre. In all the countries in which we operate, we want to do more to deliver essential resources to local and regional communities, helping them to forge their future. Digital infrastructure forms the basis of this value-creating digital transformation.”

Gwenola Chambon, CEO and founding partner of Vauban Infrastructure Partners, said: “More than ten years ago, we were among the very first infrastructure investors to invest in the digital sector, in France, as we were convinced that FTTP networks were both essential for the development of communities and presented a unique business growth opportunity. Since 2009, as a result of our ongoing commitment to this essential sector, we have built a major digital infrastructure portfolio in France alongside Axione. Axione is the wholesale broadband operator partner with whom we have built a very strong partnership over the years, crowned by a participation in Axione’s capital from the beginning of 2019. Our objective as shareholder of Axione is to support its development in France and foster its diversification of business by exporting its expertise abroad. Axione Fibre in the UK paves the way for this strategic development and represents the first step of this strategy.”