Two pensioners living in the village of Vienne-en-Val without phone or internet… since July

To reach this house, located deep in the forest of Vienne-en-Val, it was necessary to rely on an itinerary sent in advance by the owner of the bar. For good reason, the old farm is located in an area without mobile network.

Three months of trouble

And from July 22, 2022, the retired couple is affected by a general blackout. There is no more landline, no more internet and a TV that only works thanks to the dish. To successfully make calls with a cell phone, owners must travel two kilometers and approach the Route de Sennely.
“It’s a very embarrassing situation, even emergency calls don’t go through. If we need a doctor or a firefighter, it’s a total blackout“, assures Benoît Colmet Daâge. A concern is even more acute as his wife has already encountered some health concerns.

“I have high blood pressure and I’m worried about having a stroke. If that happens, emergency response must be rapid“, worries Alice, 69 years old.

“Orange does not secure its public service delegation”

In the view of the couple, the operator Orange which “does not ensure its public service delegation”, according to Benoît Colmet Daâge.
In three months, the operator’s customer service would have been contacted more than fifty times. Technicians from an Orange subcontractor would have visited the site five times, without the proper equipment.

“The problem comes from an underground cable more than six kilometers long, which has been damaged ten times. But when I see technicians coming here with a basket, I wonder how they will manage to dig“, laughs the owner of the old farm.

Benoit Colmet Daage (Owner of the old farm)

The couple finds a network… with relatives

The couple went to a store in Orleans, but nothing has changed. “We are always told that the problem will be solved next week, besides this the situation does not change“To read emails or make phone calls, the two pensioners also go to their relatives.Without network, the phone rings…

“Our children are in Sweden, Australia and Paris. We give each other meeting time to make phone calls because we only get two kilometers from here. We can’t even be contacted“, plague Benoît Colmet Daâge, from the sofa in his living room.

A map to discover where the fiber optic deployment is in the municipalities of Loiret in October 2022

A situation that is even more restrictive since the two pensioners are hosting a family of Ukrainian refugees in an adjacent house. “We help them in their efforts. But phone calls to children’s teachers or employers are difficult“. During this period of breakdown, Alice and Benoît, who sometimes report “a deafening dialogue with Orange customer service”, always pay the bills.
Frustrated, the couple decided to alert the prefecture and local parliamentarians. “In rural areas, we know many are going through the same situation. And we finally want to be heard.”

Orange operator details
“12 interventions were made in the field, the defect in the network cable was clearly identified. We have planned the intervention of an excavatorMonday, October 31, to update the underground cable so that our subscribers can find the use of the landline,” assures Orange Center-Val de Loire.
In terms of the mobile network, the operator specifies that Vienne-en-Val “cannot be said to be in the ‘white area’ because four mobile operators are present. Orange even has two 2G/3G/4G mobile relay antennas in this city. with two different locations: one in Gué Robert (lit in 1998) and one in the water tower (since 2018)”. In neighboring municipalities, Orange has a mobile relay antenna which transmits in Tigy (composed in 1998), another in Marcilly-en-Villette (since 2017) or even in Neuvy-en-Sullias (since 2019). “We are investing for we give the best possible mobile quality to our subscribers (a new relay antenna costs on average 100,000 euros) but the waves are blocked by obstacles such as buildings, trees and forests”. satellite is the solution offered by Orange Centre-Val de Loire. “The subscription starts at 39.90 euros per month, but the state pays up to 300 euros in aid to get the necessary equipment”, explains the operator’s communication department.

Nicolas Bonton

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