Sandrine Prioul / Photo credit: VINCENT FEURAY / HANS LUCAS / HANS LUCAS VIA AFP 07:02, 07 December 2023

More than a month after Storm Ciaran, the scars can still be seen on the roads with trees still littering the roadsides, especially in Finistère. While all Breton households have regained electricity, 30,000 homes would still be without an internet connection. In Locmaria-Plouzané, Europe 1 followed telecom technicians on the ground.


While the damage caused by Storm Ciaran and its magnitude are often compared to the historic storm of 1987, at the time the Internet did not exist! Today, while all Bretons have regained electricity, the telecom network is hard at work replacing thousands of poles and restoring the Internet! Some 30,000 households have since been connected via 4G mini boxes, waiting to be connected to ADSL or fibre again. The reason: the network has been badly damaged and will not be restored until February.

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12,000 poles to be replaced

In Locmaria-Plouzané, in Finistère, in front of felled trees, a team is active six days a week. Among the 3,000 telecom technicians mobilized is Mathieu Le Coz. "Despite the cold, despite the rain, we're here and we're trying to get customers back on track as quickly as possible," he said. "When you see that it takes at least an hour to plant a pole and that you can have three or four poles for only two subscribers...", adds the technician.

12,000 poles to be replaced, kilometres of cables to be reconnected... The head of Orange in Brittany, Damien de Kheror, tells us about a project that will last until February: unprecedented. "In terms of scale, it's totally unprecedented. There are still thousands of customers that need to be picked up one by one or three by three. And so that's a painstaking job. It's a titanic task, so it's partly a network reconstruction, and that's on thousands of cases in Brittany," he said. Until then, the continuity of service is assured, promises the operator, which says it has itself delivered thousands of 4G mini boxes for Internet castaways.