Superfast fixed broadband

Broadband and Superfast Broadband Market

FttH rollouts and take-up both progressing. Arcep is publishing its scoreboard for the fixed broadband and superfast broadband market (rollouts and subscriptions) in France as of the end of June 2018. This quarter confirms the ongoing increase in FttH subscription numbers and rollouts.

SUBSCRIPTIONS: optical fibre subscriptions now represent 50% of all broadband and superfast broadband access lines in France.

  • Over the course of Q2 2018, the number of superfast broadband subscriptions (maximum download speed equal to or faster than 30 Mbit/s) increased by 370,000 to reach 7.9 million, or an additional 1.7 million subscriptions year on year (YoY), versus an increase of 1.3 million one year earlier. The majority 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 325,000 compared to the previous quarter and so accounting for close to 90% of the increase in superfast access user numbers. At the end of the first half of 2018, the number of end-to-end fibre access lines totalled 3.9 million, which is 1.3 million than the year before.
  • In total, 42% of all premises eligible to subscribe to a superfast access plan were subscribing to such a plan in Q2 2018, which marks a 5% increase YoY.
  • The total number of broadband and superfast broadband subscriptions stood at 28.7 million at the end of Q2 2018, which marks an increase of 80,000 over the previous quarter and of 650,000 year on year (+2.3%).

ROLLOUTS: growth continues, but the pace needs to accelerate further still

Over the past four quarters, 2,851,000 FttH connections have been installed, of which 828,000 in Q2 2018. Although this is the strongest quarter to date, market players need to continue to set up the pace of their rollouts if they are to achieve the coverage targets they have set for themselves.

  • As of 30 June 2018, 11.7 million premises were eligible to subscribe to an FttH access service, or 33% more than one year earlier. 
  • The pace of FttH rollouts in areas covered by public-initiative rollouts is increasing, and Q2 2018 marked a quarterly record of 177,000 additional premises passed. This acceleration is also diluting the rate of fibre sharing: rollouts are outpacing customer adoption rates, and line sharing was down slightly this quarter, to 28%. This remains far below the rate in areas covered by public-initiative rollouts where it stands at 77%.
  • In total, at the end of Q2 2018, 18.7 million households in France were able to subscribe to a superfast internet access service, all technologies combined, including 12.9 million households located outside of very high-density areas.
  • FttH rollout data have been updated on the website and in the Open Data made available by Arcep.

Arcep’s scoreboard now also includes an ongoing progress report on the implementation of the legally binding FttH rollout commitments that operators have made in those parts of the country where the Government has issued a call for investment letters of intent (called "zones AMII" in French).

In early August, the Government formally accepted the commitments proposed by Orange and SFR in accordance with Article L. 33-13 of the French Postal and Electronic Communications Code (CPCE), after receiving a favourable opinion from Arcep. Pursuant to this article, Arcep is now responsible for monitoring operators’ compliance with the obligations they made.

Also in early August, Arcep began incorporating detailed information on the municipalities affected by the commitments, and the name of the operator with FttH rollout commitments for each municipality, on the website. The quarterly scorecard now includes a progress report on the two operators’ rollouts in these locations.

At the end of the first half of 2018, 35% of the premises in the municipalities where Orange made rollout commitments, and 22% of those where SFR has made commitments have been passed for fibre.

N.B.: the first deadline is a commitment to have at least 92% of the premises passed by the end of 2020, with the remaining being passed “on request”.


Associated documents

> Scorecard on fixed broadband and superfast broadband services – figures for Q2 2018

> FttH rollout tracking map: