Today, Arcep is publishing its scoreboard for the fixed broadband and superfast broadband market (rollouts and subscriptions) in France as of the end of June 2020. Despite the public health crisis, fibre to the home (FttH) subscription numbers and rollouts progressed at a considerable pace.
SUBSCRIPTIONS: pace of the transition from broadband to superfast broadband access increasing every quarter
- Over the course of Q2 2020, the number of superfast broadband subscriptions (maximum download speed equal to or faster than 30 Mbit/s) increased by 645,000 to reach 12.6 million. Superfast access, and especially FttH is replacing broadband access – whose subscription numbers decreased by 500,00 in Q2 2020 – at a steadily increase pace, from quarter to quarter. Forty two percent of all subscribers in France now have a superfast access line, which is up eight 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 635,000 in the second quarter of this year. As of 30 June 2020, the number of end-to-end fibre access lines totalled 8.3 million. This technology now represents close to two thirds of all superfast access subscriptions in France.
- In total, 48% of all premises eligible to subscribe to a superfast access plan were subscribing to such a plan in Q2 2020, which marks a 1% increase YoY.
- The total number of broadband and superfast broadband subscriptions stood at 30 million at the end of Q2 2020, which is 145,000 more than in the previous quarter and of 675,000 more than the year before (+2.3% YoY). The Covid-19 crisis, whose effects spanned the whole of April and into the early part of May, does not appear to have a significant impact on broadband and superfast broadband subscription growth or on the pace of subscribers’ transition to FttH plans.
ROLLOUTS: last year’s significant increase in the rate of deployment could not be maintained, but operators’ rollouts continue at a substantial pace
Over the course of Q2 2020, more than 1.2 million additional premises were passed for FttH – which translates into a roughly 10% increase year on year. The Covid-19 crisis prevented operators from maintaining the tremendous increase in the pace of deployment that began late last year. Rollouts have nevertheless continued at a steady pace: slightly more so in Q2 than in Q1, except in very high-density areas where the pace has slowed. Future scorecards will provide an opportunity to continue to get the full measure of the scale and duration of the impact of this public health crisis.
- As of 30 June 2020, 20.8 million premises were eligible to subscribe to an FttH access service, or 33% 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 700,00 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 around 400,00 additional premises passed in Q2 2020. The overall rate of line sharing continues to climb, reaching two-thirds of deployed lines. It nevertheless remains be far below the rate in areas covered by public-initiative rollouts where it stands at over 90%.
- In total, at the end of Q2 2020, 26.1 million households in France were able to subscribe to a superfast internet access service, all technologies combined, including 19.4 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 Q2 2020, based on the repository that was updated today, around 67% of the premises in the municipalities where Orange made rollout commitments, and 75% of those where SFR has made commitments have been passed for fibre. Increasing the pace of these rollouts will be a key challenge in the coming quarters, and Arcep will closely monitor operators’ efforts 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.