Digital

Digital adoption in France

Arcep and Arcom publish the second edition of their common Digital society index


Arcep and Arcom are publishing the second edition of their common Digital society index. This new edition updates and completes key data on digital use and behaviours in France.

With this second edition, the two authorities’ joint Digital Division is providing the public with an updated and enhanced index, delivering a detailed snapshot of digital use and behaviours in France. This publication aggregates quantified elements taken from the two authorities’ studies on internet coverage and access, household and personal equipment levels and internet and media consumption behaviour. It also includes data on new issues, such as environmental concerns about digital hardware and the use of parental control tools on the internet.

Accelerating deployment and adoption of superfast internet technologies

The index’s indicators underscore the increasingly rapid progress of superfast broadband deployments, which are dominated by optical fibre. Most of the premises that have been passed for an active internet connection now have access to superfast broadband (54%, + 12 points YoY). At the same time, 4G mobile network coverage is increasingly dense, enabling a steady increase in average available speeds.

The development of superfast access networks is accelerating the digitalisation of both personal and business uses, a phenomenon that was reinforced by the Covid-19 crisis

The use of social media (67% of people ages 12 and up) and instant messaging applications (70%), online shopping (76%) and listening to the radio online have increased further still. The growth of SVoD (subscription video on demand) and pay-TV customer numbers has gone hand in hand with a steady decrease in the illegal consumption of media content. Measures taken to curb the spread of Covid led to a rise in TV viewing time at home, with individual screen time increasing significantly during the different lockdowns.

Small and medium enterprises (SME) have also adapted to these changes: 66% of them now have their own company website, 20% have an online store, and 29% make use of online listings.

Parental control systems: first survey conducted in 2021 to measure adoption rates

Parental control mechanisms are an essential tool for limiting minors’ access to the pornographic, violent and hateful content that can be accessed online. According to a survey conducted in 2021 by the joint Digital Division, 56% of parents with children between the ages of 5 and 17 use a parental control mechanism to monitor their browsing.

Digital carbon footprint: a new joint study in 2022 by the Arcep – Arcom joint Digital Division, in partnership with Ademe

There is a growing awareness surrounding the environmental impact of digital technology, and particularly of digital devices which are a major source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Among these devices, televisions have the biggest GHG footprint, ahead of laptop computers and smartphones. Smartphone ownership rates continue to rise each year (79% of internet users ages 11 and up own a smartphone). The vast majority of them (84%) use their smartphone for less than three years, and 52% of them keep the old smartphone they no longer use. The sale, donation or recycling of unused smartphones remains rare.

To complete the findings presented in the Digital society index, and pursuant to the implementation of Article 15 of the Act of 22 August 2021 on combatting climate change and promoting biodiversity, the Arcep – Arcom joint Digital Division, with the support of Ademe, will conduct a study in 2022 to obtain a more detailed assessment of the environmental impact of the distribution and consumption of audiovisual content.

The adoption of the Law aimed at reducing the digital carbon footprint in France also led the Arcep – Arcom joint Digital Division, in concert with Ademe, to begin the process of establishing a system of sustainable design benchmarking for digital services and drafting a recommendation for audiovisual media services to spread the word about the environmental impact of consuming media content.

Associated documents:

Arcep – Arcom Digital society index

Summary of the Arcep – Arcom Digital society index (infographics)

Arcep – Arcom joint Digital Division

Created in March 2020, the purpose of the Arcep – Arcom joint Digital Division is to deepen technical and economic analyses of digital markets that fall under each of the two authorities’ purview, in particular to help them carry out their new regulatory duties in this area.

The Arcep – Arcom Digital Division work programme includes joint reports on digital issues, providing the general public with common reference data, hosting workshops and experience-sharing workshops, as well as regular meetings of the working committee on protecting minors against pornographic content online.

It has an established work programme, and the agreement signed on 2 March 2020 stipulates alternating coordination duties between the two institutions. Anne Yvrande-Billon, Arcep’s Director of Economics, markets and digital affairs, has been the joint Digital Division’s coordinator since 1 July 2021, for a period of one year. Christophe Cousin, Arcom’s Director of Studies, economic affairs and forward-planning, is her main counterpart at Arcom.

To find out more:

• Presentation of the Arcep- Arcom joint division on the Arcep website