Grasse, a switched-on city
Grasse enters the digital era. The city has entrusted SudCâble with the task of setting up its cabled network. The network head end has just been inaugurated.
Operational since April 6th, the digital network head end marks the Grasse entrance in the cable world. All the technical installations, which allow the first subscribers to receive services proposed by SudCâble Services, are located in the city. It is situated in a protected local close to the old-town. The first wiring works have started in September 1999. 24 months will be required for such works, with an objective of 8.500 subscribers. Around 2000 pioneers will be connected by the end of year 2000.After the opening of a network reference library, the launching of a multimedia equipment program for elementary schools and the onlining of the Internet server of /www.ville-grasse.fr">Grassecity, the town strategy headed by Jean-Pierre Leleux is to offer inhabitants a complete range of digital services : TV and radio network packages, broadband Internet access, telephony.'Grasse is the first city where SudCâble is developing a multi-service offer, and doubtless the first region to offer a package combining television and Internet access as soon as the beginning'Damien Gaucherand, the director of the Mayor cabinet and the person in charge of the communication, says. Another satisfying point : 'the city won't spend the least money : the private operator will take care of the whole investment, about 80 million francs.'SudCâble settled in the southCreated in 1994 in Cavaillon, SudCâble Services is a cable operator experimented in multi-service metropolitan networks. The financial capacity of its principal share-holder, UPC France, allows it to build HFC local loop (Hybrid Fiber Coax) without having to be helped by the cities' financial contribution.65 southern France cities have already entrusted it with their cabled networks : Antibes, Le Cannet, Mandelieu,, Bandol, Sanary…The offer that will be proposed to Grasse's citizens is composed of : telephony services (Priority Telecom) –as the digital technology is bringing appreciable advantages as far as sound and transmission rapidity are concerned; a broadband Internet access, thanks to chello™, the leading broadband Internet provider of the new generation; a television offer with 58 analog or digital TV channels, coming from different satellite packages (canal Sat, TPS, AB Sat).Municipal buildings in networkThe city intends to benefit from this infrastructure in order to be a part of the new economy. All the municipal buildings (city hall, schools, reference libraries, museums…) will be linked between each others via a secured Intranet network. Thus, the municipal teams will be able to work within a network structure, to share databases… This is an appreciable advantage in the Grasse organization, with a city hall backed-up by not less than eight annexes in the city's different hamlets.'We will be more efficient as far as intern management is concerned', Damien Gaucherand analyses. 'Within a few years, we will also be better as regard to proximity information for Grasse's citizens, who will be able to access services as civil status, to consult the municipal council deliberations…'The city will also benefit from the cabled network to launch a local television channel : TVKiosque is scheduled for September 2000. The program : the festivities listing, which is already diffused via the Kiosque newspaper, the theatre shows televising, programs presented by societies… 'The idea is to start with a modest project, which would not cost a lot for the city : for this project, we also intend to find a private partner, a media professional'.A territorial marketing argumentThe Jean-Pierre Leleux's team also considers this passage to the digital as another argument in its territorial marketing : 'The existence of a broadband network can attract many companies and start-ups in Grasse. Since early 2001, the network will be operational. We already have contacts in that sense. We wish to make Grasse a site associated with Sophia Antipolis : steps are in progress with the Council of the Alpes-Maritimes department. Actually Grasse can become very important : premises become scare on the research park, while we have here available properties and buildings.'ContactsSudcable@sudcable.comJean-Pierre Leleux : email@example.comD.Gaucherand : firstname.lastname@example.org