If in big cities, fixed internet and telephone networks are generally buried, the situation is very different in the countryside and rural areas. Most often, these infrastructures are placed “in the air”. Copper or fiber optic cables then rest on poles. It is advisable to regularly maintain the vegetation around them, to avoid, for example, that falling branches disconnect the cables and cause network interruptions. This is why pruning near these fragile aerial networks is an imperative here.
This topic is of concern to many mayors and communities. Many municipalities have suffered for years from a lack of pruning, responsible for numerous defects and malfunctions. Some mayors lament the cost of maintenance work, part of which is their responsibility. To solve this problem, LR senators Valérie Boyer and Patrick Chaize came forward an invoice on October 26. This aims to “put the maintenance of telephone lines at the expense of the network operators”. It is clear that Orange, the current operator and owner of the telecom towers, should be asked to take on this burden alone and at its own expense.
The legislation is considered too “inaccurate”
Today it would also be legislation “incorrect” about maintaining these networks, says Patrick Chaize galley. In particular, he refers to a text from 2016. This provides ” a trigger chain of responsibility between landowners and network operators [Orange, NDLR] »like he reminded her Ministry of Territorial Cohesion in October 2020. But in a joint note, Patrick Chaize and Valérie Boyer condemn “The complexity and difficulties of implementing (this) regulation”WHO “Unfortunately it leads to a lack of real maintenance along the network”.
On the other hand, they warn of the fact that the costs of pruning sometimes weigh heavily on the finances of local authorities. ” Many mayors denounce this accusation, such as the mayor of Mimet and the president of the mayors of Bouches-du-Rhône, Georges Cristiani.the senators write. This laments that ‘municipalities must now assume all maintenance costs inherent in running telephone operators’ cables‘. »
Orange has no intention of paying the bill alone
For his part, the incumbent has no intention, surprisingly, of paying the entire bill. ” Orange should not only bear the cost of maintaining vegetation in the public domain near its networks.”, he argues. The operator indicates that it signed an agreement last year with the Association of Mayors of France (AMF) and the Association of Mayors of Rural Municipalities of France (AMRF). Its objective is to support local authorities when faced with landowners near networks who do not respond to their requests for pruning. Orange also specifies that in public area, “ it has always been the responsibility of the municipalities to take care of the maintenance of road approaches and the pruning of vegetation”.
In the eyes of Orange, The solution to these difficulties does not go through a new text of the law, but through consultation and cooperation between operators and local authorities to make these operations more efficient”.. Patrick Chaize, he doesn’t hear it that way. According to the latter, Orange has the means to take care of all the maintenance of the air network. The parliamentarian recalls that the current operator benefits from its poles, which it leases to other operators to set up their networks.