Gironde unveils ambitious €669m rural internet plan

All 410,000 rural homes in department 'will have access to fibre or very high bandwidth internet by 2023'

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All 410,000 rural households in the Gironde will have access to fibre or very-high bandwidth internet by 2023, under a €669 million plan unveiled by the conseil départemental.

The Haut Méga Plan, which will launch this year, will bring fibre "into all houses, even the most isolated ones" with "exceptional throughput rates". Currently only those living in Bordeaux or Libourne enjoy high speed internet connections.

Following a year of negotiations, authorities in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine department revealed that Orange had been chosen to lead this 'titanic' project. "It must be understood that six years to deploy 28,000 km of fibre optic cable is just extraordinary," said Jean-Luc Gleyze, chairman of the Gironde departmental council.

The bulk of the cost of the investment will be paid for by Orange marketing, while the department - with European, state, regional, and local Gironde communities paying €100 million.

Work will start later this year. The planned schedule will be revealed on the still under-construction website in the second quarter of the year.

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