Today, Arcep is publishing its scorecard for the fixed broadband and superfast broadband market in France as of the end of December 2021. The fourth quarter ended a year during which fibre to the home (FttH) deployment and adoption rates remained high.
ROLLOUTS: The overall rate of deployment was very solid over the course of 2021, with around 5.6 million new FttH lines deployed, slightly below the record reached in 2020 (5.8 million)
- Over the course of Q4 2021, 1.4 million additional premises were passed for FttH – or around 15% more than during the previous quarter, but 25% fewer than in Q4 2020.
- As of 31 December 2021, 29.7 million premises were eligible to subscribe to an FttH access service, or 23% more than one year earlier. Around 70% of all premises in France are thus eligible for FttH.
- Over the course of this fourth quarter, 910,000 premises in public-initiative areas were rendered eligible for fibre access, which marks a 35% increase YoY. This is the strongest quarter ever for areas covered by public-initiative deployments since rollouts began.
- The pace of FttH deployment in areas covered by private initiative continues to slow compared to the previous quarter. Around 320,000 additional premises were passed in Q4, compared to close to 390,000 in Q3.
- Additional premises passed in those areas covered by calls for expressions of local interest (called "zones AMEL" in French) totalled around 270,000 at the end of Q4 2021, compared to 180,000 at the end of the third quarter of the year.
- The insufficient rate of progress of the past several quarters persists in very high-density areas.
- In total, at the end of Q4 2021, 33.1 million households in France were able to subscribe to a superfast internet access service over a fixed network.
Monitoring operators’ compliance with their legally binding FttH rollout commitments
Arcep is responsible for monitoring operators’ compliance with the commitments they have made and publishes a progress report on the rollouts in question on a regular basis.
At the end of Q4 2021, in those parts of the country where the Government has issued a call for investment letters of intent ("zones AMII"):
- around 83% of the premises for which Orange has made a commitment had been made eligible for fibre access,
- and around 93% of those in municipalities where SFR has made a commitment had been made eligible for fibre access.
Details regarding the progress of individual “AMEL” project commitments (i.e. legally binding FttH rollout commitments that certain operators have made to local authorities, as part of calls for expressions of local interest) can be found in pages 19 to 23 of the publication.
SUBSCRIPTIONS: fibre access subscription numbers remain high, with an additional 1.1 million additional connections over the course of Q4 2021. At the end of 2021, fibre connections represented 46% of all broadband and superfast broadband subscriptions in France.
- Over the course of Q4 2021, the number of superfast broadband subscriptions (maximum download speed equal to or faster than 30 Mbit/s) increased by 900,000, to reach 18.4 million as of 31 December. This is a slightly lower YoY quarterly increase than in 2020 (+1.1 million) chiefly due to the accelerated decrease in the number of subscriptions to plans providing speeds of between 30 and 100 Mbit/s. In total, superfast broadband subscriptions accounted for 58% of all broadband and superfast broadband internet subscriptions in France (+11 points YoY), and 55% of all premises passed for superfast access, which marks a four-point increase over last year.
- For close to two years, this growth has been entirely due to an increase in fibre-to-the-home subscriptions, whose number increased by an additional 1.1 million subscriptions in Q4 2021, and by 4.1 million YoY. At the end of 2021, the number of end-to-end fibre connections in France stood at 14.5 million and represented 79% of all superfast access subscriptions in the country and 46% of all broadband and superfast broadband connections.
- The number of “classic” broadband subscriptions continues to shrink: decreasing by 2.9 million YoY, versus -2.5 million last year, dropping to 13.4 million at the end of Q4 2021.
- The total number of broadband and superfast broadband subscriptions stood at 31.5 million at the end of 2021, increasing by 230,000 over the quarter at by 3.7% YoY.
Tracking FttH rollouts with “Ma connexion internet”
The “Déploiements fibre” maps on the “Ma connexion Internet” website (formerly cartefibre.arcep.fr) allow users to track the progress of FttH rollouts in a very detailed fashion. The forecast view, which was last updated on 15 November 2021, also provides them with information on the timeline for upcoming optical fibre rollouts in a given municipality.
The information associated with these rollout maps, both existing and forecast, is available as open data.
To improve the “Ma connexion Internet” user experience, Arcep is asking visitors to share their expectations of the site by completing a questionnaire that will be online until the end of May 2022.
• Maconnexioninternet.arcep.fr, to obtain detailed information on fixed internet access coverage, particularly thanks to FttH rollout maps (which are also still available at https://cartefibre.arcep.fr/)
Missing information that will be published in the coming weeks:
• FttH network sharing figures