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European Investment Bank offers financial support for Orange fibre network

Orange aims to accelerate French fibre momentum following €700m loan from European Investment Bank to develop non-metro French high-speed broadband

Showing confidence in Orange’s network strategy, the global telco has closed a €700m loan with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to finance part of the deployment of its very high-speed broadband network in France in the Appel à Manifestation d’Intentions d’Investissements (AMII) areas.

Such areas were defined in 2011 as places where population density and digital coverage was considered as being moderate, and generally speaking they are regarded as urban areas located outside dense metropolitan locations.

The European Investment Bank is the long-term lending institution of the European Union, owned by its member states. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment to contribute towards EU policy goals. In 2018, the EIB provided €7.2bn in new financings to support projects in key sectors of the French economy, such as broadband development.

The new Orange loan will address all investments made in France within the AMII areas and will help finance the completion of the deployment of Orange’s networks in the AMII areas. A first drawdown of €350m has already taken place. The remaining part of the loan will be made available during the first quarter of 2020.

Orange’s fibre business was revealed in the company’s latest financial results as a key growth engine, the 178,000 net additions in the third quarter 2019 being a record for a third quarter. Orange reached more than seven million fibre customers in Europe in the quarter, an increase of 25% compared with a year ago. Such achievements were seen by the company as attesting to the relevance of the firm’s high-speed broadband network strategy and it noted that the strong commercial momentum achieved in fibre was particularly evident in France.

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