Saint-Héand, Loire, France: a relay antenna silenced [MaJ]

According to a television report by the local channel TL7 on 6 November entitled “We’ll have to wait a little longer before we have a network”, concerning the repairs in progress, it was a Bouygues antenna as well as those of Free and SFR that were affected by this incendiary sabotage. As for the site manager, he could only deplore the large quantity of cables that had to be transported to the site and then replaced (all the way to the top with a special pod for Bouygues) as well as the lack of available stock of connectors on the eve of the weekend. All of this is likely to prolong the disconnection of the network for longer than the operators had hoped.
 Breakdown on Bouygues and SFR networks after the burning of an antenna
 Le Progrès/Radio Scoop, 3 November 2021
This Wednesday, thousands of Bouygues and SFR subscribers were deprived of internet and telephone in a vast sector of the Saint-Etienne agglomeration. The cause: a fire that affected a Bouygues telecom site in the town of Saint-Héand during the night of Tuesday to Wednesday.

The Bouygues antenna and its technical room at the site known as “La Pierre de la Bauche” fell prey to the flames. According to Bouygues Telecom, the breakdown affected subscribers in the north-eastern and northern sectors of Saint-Etienne, from Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert to Rive-de-Gier, via Saint-Chamond, La Grand-Croix and Lorette. According to the Prefecture of the Loire, these customers are mainly located in an area including the municipalities of Montrond-les-Bains, Saint-Galmier, La Fouillouse Saint-Héand and Andrézieux-Bouthon.
While it belongs to Bouygues Telecom, customers of SFR and Free are also experiencing difficulties in connecting to the network, as the three operators share passive infrastructure.
At the beginning of the afternoon, Bouygues Telecom technicians had not yet been able to access the site to establish a precise inventory of the damage caused to the infrastructure. “But our technicians have been working since this morning on alternative solutions and restoring the network as quickly as possible,” the operator’s services said.
The burnt site is located in the middle of the countryside and is inaccessible by road. The mayor of Saint-Héand, Jean-Marc Thélisson, was on site this Wednesday morning. “This is the first time this has happened,” he said. For its part, the gendarmerie has opened an investigation. According to the observations made on the spot by the Bouygues technicians as well as by the mayor of the commune, a deliberate fire seems likely.
(France bleu, 3/11):
An investigation was opened, entrusted to the public prosecutor’s office of Saint-Étienne. “Obviously it is a criminal act”, says David Charmatz, the Saint-Etienne prosecutor. The gates surrounding the site were vandalised “and the relay antennas are not subject to spontaneous combustion”, he continued. The network will not be restored for several days.
Saint-Héand, a small village like any other?
Just for fun, let’s remember that the village of Saint-Héand (3,600 inhabitants), located near Saint-Etienne, is not just any village, as it has been largely dependent since 1935 on the Angénieux company, a historical manufacturer of photographic and cinematographic lenses. Now part of the electronics group Thales, which specialises in aerospace, defence and security, the Saint-Héand factory designs, develops and produces military optics, mainly night vision binoculars for the French army.
After delivering nearly 3,500 biocular binoculars of the Minie type to the army and its special forces, Thales Saint-Héand’s workers and engineers are in the process of manufacturing an additional 3,500 binoculars as part of the contract extension won in February 2021. Last September, it was also reported that these subcontractors had just won the next offer for the renewal of the French armies’ night vision binoculars (NVBs) fleet, involving 10,000 Nellie-type binoculars.
In an article by the local spokesman for all the powers that be (Le Progrès, 16 February 2021), we could also learn that ‘In recent months, the Loire site has confirmed its status as a reference centre for combatant optronics (technology combining optics and electronics): night vision binoculars (O-nyx binoculars in particular), infrared binoculars and also, more recently, long-range multifunction binoculars. “This equipment combines several functions, with long-range vision combined with infrared vision, enabling a vehicle to be seen up to 46 kilometres away. These binoculars, the Sophie 4, are intended for combatants. They are still being developed,” explains Bertrand Boismoreau, director of the plant. A new dedicated production line is currently being installed, with industrialisation planned for the end of 2021.
Beyond the more general sense of sabotaging relay antennas, the fact that it is the good Héandais with bloodstained hands who are temporarily deprived of internet and mobile connection is therefore the least that could happen to them…
via: sansnom translated by Act for freedom now!