ALÈS Illico: all geared up for high-speed fibre optics!

This morning, Max Roustan, mayor of Alès, inaugurated his “Illico” public initiative network at the offices of DIS-Transics, located at the “Cap o Sud” industrial zone in Saint-Hilaire-de-Brethmas. Illico was set up to provide local companies with superfast broadband access at a competitive price.

Established by two engineers of the Ecole des Mines in the French region of Alès in 1988, DIS-Transics specialises in processing service time data for the transport industry (collected by devices like tachographs and others). Slowly but surely, the DIS control software found its way to companies across the country, thus instilling trust in the French authorities. Today, the police and customs in France and 13 other European countries rely on DIS-Transics software.

When Delta Industrie Service joined the Transics Group in 2007, it gradually stepped up its solutions to include on-board software for heavy goods vehicles (HGV) over 3.5 tonnes. The Alès headquarters has remained the centre of competence for social security data management solutions. “We were not able to connect to the high-speed broadband at an industry price,” explained Christian Vadant, General Manager, this morning.

When enlarging upon all the improvements (production, customer relations, internal relations, subcontracted work, communication plan, etc.) involved in this service, Christian Vadant said: “Many firms do not yet understand what to expect from superfast broadband at an industry price.” He further highlighted how the advanced superfast broadband technology offers numerous benefits for start-ups, while having the capacity to create jobs in the region.

The agglomerate and the metropole

As it took so long (and was so expensive) for private operators to bring high-speed broadband to their region, the larger agglomerate of Alès took matters into its own hands. By building its own network, it was sure it would boost the economic attractiveness of its region, while giving the entire population access to high-speed fibre optics. The project was made possible thanks to a joint agreement between Nîmes and Alès, in the framework of the “Pôle Métropolitain”. Between May and December 2013, the two agglomerates built their own fibre-optic backhaul network, via the RN 106, featuring 144 cables to bring the high-speed broadband to the region of Alès. Nîmes and Alès shared the cost of EUR 1.5m (each 550,000 EUR), while the department contributed 370,000 EUR.

In the meantime, a local loop was created around Alès, costing (agglomerate + city) 790,000 EUR. In 2014, a serving network will be built for “special” sites, such as the hospital, the Ecole des Mines, schools, administrative centres, etc. (maximal budget of 3.1m EUR), after which the network will be rolled out to the industrial zones (provisional budget: 2.1m EUR). The first operator of this network, which has been baptised “Illico”, is Covage, the firm that already exploits the network of the Hérault department.

Objectif GARD
Article by Raphaël Motte