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France 2022: Prysmian optical fibre for digital transformation

TELECOM PLAYERS AND INSTITUTIONS ARE JOINING FORCES TO DEPLOY NEXT-GENERATION ACCESS NETWORKS ACROSS THE COUNTRY

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OCTOBER 2017

Bringing very high-speed broadband service to every household, business and government office by 2022: this is the goal of the Plan France Très Haut Débit (French Very High-Speed Broadband Plan) that aims at ensuring fixed line connections of at least 30 megabits per second to reach every corner of the country and 2025 as a new target to reach FTTH everywhere including in rural areas.

Launched in 2012, this ambitious plan includes a cooperation between private and public authorities since its very conception, as it envisages a 10-year, €20-billion investment shared by private service providers, local authorities and the Government. While private providers are to lay down Ftth (“Fiber to the Home”) networks in metropolitan areas and departmental capitals, local authorities will reach out to the outside areas to fill the gap left by private networks.

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The Plan calls for bringing very high-speed broadband service to every home, business and government office in France by 2022 and FTTH everywhere by 2025

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The whole sector is committed to reaching the goal -  says Jean Pierre Bonicel, Senior Business Development Director at Prysmian and Former President of Objectif Fibre, the French association created in 2009 to represent the optical fibre industry in France. “Between 2012 and 2016, the volume of fibre installed for private networks through private operators and RIP (Public Initiative Networks) have grown fourfold, reaching 11 million km fibre installed in France. The stakes of this project are quite high” tells Jean Pierre Bonicel, as he points out that: “in Objectif Fibre, we are working close with professional organizations, as well as state institutions such as Agence du Numérique, Mission THD, ARCEP or CEREMA”.

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According to France’s broadband plan, as detailed by Macron Law of 31 August 2016, it is mandatory to install fibre in any new building, including those with a single housing or working space. “That’s why Objectif Fibre is committed to support installers and electricians, in order to provide professionals with the appropriate know how to install fibre. Optical fibre industries, professional Federations and governmental bodies in France already signed a framework agreement for developing skills and career paths (EDEC), where special attention is given to the installation and connection of fibre. Right now, there is no compulsory qualification, but some operators asked their sub-contractors to take a special training. Objectif Fibre already certified  30 training centers capable of providing this technical training” explains Jean Pierre Bonicel.

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"The whole sector is committed to reaching that goal. We are working close with professional organizations, as well as state institutions”

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Jean Pierre Bonicel

Senior Business Development Director at Prysmian Group and Former President of Objectif Fibre

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Besides installers, the Plan France Très Haut Débit, opens real opportunities for fibre manufacturers. Prysmian Group stands as the front liner, relying upon extensive patent portfolio, that enables it to carry on the entire fibre production process. Prysmian has developed the cable technology of dedicated to FTTH networks, creating solutions that have become an international benchmark, such as G657 A2 and Flextube solution that fit perfectly with FTTH network needs. These technologies are particularly suited to the high mechanical constraints encountered in the FTTH environment. When G657 A2 fiber can withstand very low bending radius and its outside material is particularly long lasting, Flextube cables are made with carefully selected materials in such a way that the couple Flextube + G 657 A2 fiber provides to operators a high reliability / long term expected life time.

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Connectivity is another complex area that requests a special care and for which design and material selection are key factors for reliability and efficiency of the solutions.

Furthermore, Prysmian is currently the only manufacturer in France with such an important R&D activity with the capacity to produce all the optical network components (fibre, optical cables, connectivity) at its plants in Douvrin, Calais and Chavanoz.

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