We got a nice surprise from the local authorities a couple of weeks ago, and we got the first effects of that news yesterday. At least I think it was just a first installment. We'll see this winter if more changes are coming our way.
Yesterday morning I was composing my blog post when it occurred to me that everything was zipping along at a much brisker clip than I was used to. I stopped what I was doing and ran the Ookla speed test to see how fast our internet connection was running. When I measured the download speed of our connection, it came in at 8.7 Mbps (Megabits per second). I'm getting the same results this morning. I wonder how that compares to the internet connections all you reading this have chez vous.
The photos here are some more autumn scenes from the Renaudière vineyard outside Saint-Aignan.
Before yesterday, our download speed was more like 2.2 Mbps, so the download speed has quadrupled. The surprise we got a few weeks ago was in a newsletter from the powers that be in Blois, the administrative capital (préfecture) of our "county" (département). Reading the latest edition of Loir&Cher Info, we learned that the department council had launched an initiative to bring fiber optics internet lines to 20 of the villages in the area that were the least well served when it came to the internet. Our village is one of the 20.
In all, 80 kilometers (50 miles) of fiber optic cables are being laid in the Loir-et-Cher, a département covering some 6,000 square kilometers (about 2,500 square miles) with a population of 330,000. This is one of the most rural and agricultural areas in northern France. Blois, the biggest town, has a population of just 50,000, and the two other large(ish) towns are Romorantin and Vendôme (each with about 17,000 inhabitants). The rest of us live in really small towns and villages. In Saint-Aignan, we first got broadband internet in 2003, just four or five months after we moved here. The download speed (débit) was just 1 Mbps back then.
The article says that virtually everybody who lives in one of the 20 towns and villages that are soon to get fiber optic connections will enjoy download speeds of about 20 Mbsp by early next year. That would be a 10x improvement in the previous speed of our connection. I hope it is true. I'm not sure why we are suddenly getting 8.7 Mbps, but I'm pretty happy about it.