French fibre network operator Covage, a 50/50 joint venture of Axia Networks France and Canada-based Cube Infrastructure Fund, has been awarded contracts to deploy and operate a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network in Seine-et-Marne, a department situated in the region of Ile-de-France. TeleGeography notes that since 2006 Covage owns and operates the Sem@for77 regional network, which is also located in Seine-et-Marne.
The planned 6,200km network will incorporate newly built infrastructure, rental of existing ducts and related infrastructure and the lease of existing fibre from Sem@for77; when complete, the fibre optic infrastucture will pass 319,000 homes. Under a 25-year public service delegation (PSD) agreement, Covage will own, build and operate a network segment passing 169,000 homes, while 150,000 additional homes will be covered by a public private partnership (PPP) service contract. In addition, Sem@for77 has been granted exclusive rights to provide active fibre services to the 1,733 enterprise sites that the new FTTH network will pass. The aggregate investment over the 25-year contract term – which will comprise a combination of private capital, operating cash flow and government grants – is estimated to amount to EUR350 million (USD412.7 million) with Axia Networks planning to contribute EUR17 million over the next five years. The planned investment includes the construction of the transport and distribution network segments, interconnection with Covage’s national backbone and the cost to connect subscribers to the infrastructure. Network construction is expected to begin later in 2015, with Covage planning to pass approximately 90% of PSD homes by 2025.