Orange to offer FTTH on Bouygues infrastructure unit, Axione
Orange has agreed with Axione, a subsidiary of telecoms rival Bouygues, to market its fibre internet services to 2.2 million French homes and other premises.
Axione is a telecoms infrastructure division of Bouygues Energies & Services, a sister company of Bouygues Telecom, which three years ago failed in an attempt to merge with Orange.
Axione specialises in building telecoms infrastructure for local authorities – réseaux d’initiative publique, public initiative networks. Orange says it wants to offer fibre to the home (FTTH) services to residents via these networks in 4,000 towns and cities in 15 of France’s departments – regional administrative areas – by the end of 2019.
Orange said its objective is “to be able to offer, by the end of 2019, its fibre offerings to all households connectable on these public initiative networks.”
It said the deal was the answer to the challenge of digital inclusion, including in rural areas.
The company said Orange fibre customers would be able to select a variety of services from 300Mbps downstream up to 1Gbps downstream, including on-demand TV.
Axione says it has local offices in each of the areas where it offers public initiative networks. According to Pierre-Eric Saint André, the managing director of Axione, the company has “a pioneering approach towards structuring funding for telecommunications infrastructure in public initiative networks, in collaboration with large banks, including Crédit Agricole and Caisse d’Epargne, as well as insurance companies such as Macif and Matmut”. The greatest challenge “is to connect the 42% of the population who are spread across 90% of France’s communes”.