Today, Arcep is publishing its scoreboard for the fixed broadband and superfast broadband market (rollouts and subscriptions) in France as of the end of December 2019. This quarter confirms the substantial ongoing progress in FttH subscription numbers and rollouts.
SUBSCRIPTIONS: the transition from broadband to superfast broadband access continues at a steady pace, spurred by the growing use of end-to-end fibre optic lines.
- Over the course of Q4 2019, the number of superfast broadband subscriptions (maximum download speed equal to or faster than 30 Mbit/s) increased by 725,000 to reach 11.4 million. This means an additional 2.4 million subscriptions over the course of 2019, versus an increase of 2 million in 2018. Thirty eight percent of all subscribers in France now have a superfast access line, which is up seven points YoY.
- Virtually all of this growth is due to an increase in the number of subscriptions to fibre to the home/building (FttH/B) plans, which rose by 705,000 in Q4. As of 31 December, the number of end-to-end fibre access lines totalled 7.1 million, which marks an increase of 2.3 million over the course of the year, compared to +1.5 million in 2018.
- In total, 48% of all premises eligible to subscribe to a superfast access plan were subscribing to such a plan in Q4 2019, which marks a 3% increase YoY.
- The total number of broadband and superfast broadband subscriptions stood at 29.8 million at the end of Q4 2019, which is 185,000 more than in the previous quarter and of 660,000 more than the year before (+2.3% YoY).
ROLLOUTS: the strongest quarterly increase, with market players mobilised in those parts of the country covered by private sector initiative and for public initiative network rollouts.
Over the course of 2019, 4.8 million additional premises were passed for FttH, of which 1.6 million in in Q4 2019 – which means a roughly 58% increase year on year. Standing at more than 40%, this marks the strongest quarterly increase recorded to date.
- As of 31 December, 18.4 million premises were eligible to subscribe to an FttH access service, or 36% more than one year earlier.
- The majority of the growth continues to be in those parts of the country where the Government has issued a call for investment letters of intent (called "zones AMII" in French): more than 1 million additional premises were rendered eligible during this past quarter.
- The pace of FttH rollouts in areas covered by public-initiative rollouts also rose during the quarter, with more than half a million additional premises passed in Q4 2019. The overall rate of line sharing rose significantly, reaching more than 60%. It nevertheless continues to be far below the rate in areas covered by public-initiative rollouts where it stands at over 90%.
- In total, at the end of Q4 2019, 23.5 million households in France were able to subscribe to a superfast internet access service, all technologies combined, including 17.2 million households located outside of very high-density areas.
- FttH rollout data have been updated on the cartefibre.arcep.fr website and in the Open Data made available by Arcep.
Monitoring the legally binding FttH rollout commitments that operators have made in “zones AMII”
Arcep is responsible for monitoring operators Orange and SFR’s compliance with the obligations they have made.
At the end of Q4 2019, based on a tally of premises using INSEE data that Arcep performed when issuing its opinions on proposed commitments, in July 2018 , around 67% of the premises in the municipalities where Orange made rollout commitments, and 63% of those where SFR has made commitments have been passed for fibre. Operators will need to step up the pace of their deployments if they are to meet their targets on time.
Tracking FttH rollouts
The cartefibre.arcep.fr website allows users to obtain fibre coverage information on individual buildings, and so to track the progress of FttH rollouts in a very detailed fashion. The forecast view also provides them with information on the timeline for upcoming optical fibre rollouts in a given municipality.
 Arcep Opinion No. 2018-0364 of 12 June 2018, rendered at the request of the Minister responsible for Electronic Communications, regarding Orange’s proposed committments, pursuant to Article L. 33-13