>@Anne-Cécile Auguin/EIB

On 12 September at TELCO OI's head office in La Réunion, Vice-President of the EIB (the EU bank) Ambroise Fayolle and CEO of TELCO OI Pierre-Antoine Legagneur signed a EUR 25m finance contract to modernise and develop the superfast mobile broadband network across La Réunion and Mayotte.

Supported by the experience and know-how of its two shareholders, Iliad and Axian, TELCO OI has set itself the goal of offering innovative 4G coverage to more than 95% of the population within five years in a very competitive marketplace. In addition to the quality and attractiveness of the offer, the project will have very positive economic implications for the regions, particularly in terms of productivity and job creation.

“This EIB financing is part of the major investment plan TELCO OI approved in 2016, with the aim of modernising its mobile network in La Réunion and Mayotte, enabling the islands to move to superfast mobile broadband with the spread of 4G,” said the CEO of TELCO OI Pierre-Antoine Legagneur.

“Securing universal access to superfast broadband is a priority for the EU bank. This is why we are delighted to finance this project, which will have a real economic and social impact for La Réunion and Mayotte,” said EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle during the signing ceremony. “This new “Juncker” financing is a reflection of the action we are taking in overseas territories to support economic development based on innovation and infrastructure modernisation, growth, and business competitiveness. Our initiatives are creating new training and employment opportunities for younger generations. 

This EIB financing is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) – the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, commonly known as the Juncker Plan – and provides TELCO OI with particularly attractive financial terms tailored to the sector and investment type. The financing is also part of the EU's 2020 strategy and the digital agenda for Europe centred on the roll-out of high-speed internet. One of the key objectives of this strategy is for all EU citizens to have access to a 30 Mbps internet connection by 2020, with 50% of EU households having access to a connection exceeding 100 Mbps.

As a reminder, EIB investments in the development of superfast broadband in France stood at more than EUR 1bn in 2016.