One month after the validation by Arcep, the contract was finally signed between the department and Savoie Connectée. This transaction comes two years after the departmental council terminated its contract with Axione, a Bouygues subsidiary. At the time, an investment of €223 million was planned: €63 million financed by local authorities and €70 million provided by the region, the State and the European Union.
In 2017, elected officials from the Maurienne had entrusted Fibréa with the installation of its own fibre optic network. The departmental council then accused the latter of having unbalanced the public service delegation concluded with Axione. Mauritian elected officials said they had had enough of waiting for the department to deploy the fibre. They had therefore taken charge of it themselves to ensure the development of their territory.
A few months after the termination, the government proposed to local authorities to deploy AMELs to accelerate the installation of optical fibre in rural areas. A system enabling departmental councils to have the deployment financed from operators' own funds.
The Savoie department has therefore chosen this framework to deploy its fibre optic network in rural areas. And it is Savoie Connectée that finances the cost of the works, relying on its shareholders (Covage with 70% of the capital and Orange with 30%). Within four years, 255,000 sockets will have to be connected in 243 municipalities in Savoie. Almost the entire territory of the department will then be connected to very high bandwidth.
The operation is not new for Covage since the operator operates the DSP for optical fibre in 246 municipalities in Haute-Savoie. And he was also awarded an AMEL in Saône-et-Loire.
This eliminates the need for the department to worry about funding and shortens the deployment time. The maturity date is 2023 instead of 2026 in the terminated contract with Axione. However, the departmental council will have paid 6.8 million euros in compensation to Axione to free itself.
A year ago, Covage acquired Fibréa, the company that has wired nearly 500 kilometres of optical fibre in the Maurienne. Therefore, the repetition of the scenario from the previous contract is ruled out. "This avoids any subsequent conflict," agrees Hervé Gaymard, president of the Savoie County Council.
Source : La Tribune