Communiqué de presse

The diffusion of information and communication technologies in French society – 2006 survey

Paris, 22 November 2006



Autorité de régulation des communications électroniques and des postes (ARCEP) and Conseil Général des technologies de l’information (CGTI) are publishing the results of their fourth annual survey on the diffusion of information technologies (fixed telephony, mobile telephony, Internet, personal computer) in France.



This survey was conducted by CREDOC for ARCEP and CGTI in June 2006 through face-to-face interviews with a sample of 2 228 people representative of the French population over the age of 12.




Smiley Most people have both fixed and mobile equipment




In June 2006, 83% of adults had at least one fixed telephone line in their home, for a proportion equal to that of the previous year. It appears that the decline in the fixed telephony equipment rate of households has been halted, due primarily to the success of high-speed Internet offers and full unbundling, which lets subscribers deal with a single operator and enjoy lower prices for fixed telephony.

The mobile telephone equipment rate continues to grow strongly: close to 3/4 of people personally own a mobile telephone. Since 2001, the mobile telephone equipment rate has grown by three points on average each year.







Source: CREDOC, Surveys "Conditions de vie et Aspirations des Français".



The acquisition rate of fixed phones has stabilised and the growth in mobile phones continues to decline: in all, 59% of people aged 18 years and over now own both a fixed telephone and a mobile telephone. The number of people owning only a mobile telephone, which had increased by one third between 2003 and 2005, has stabilised.


Breakdown of the population according to telephony ownership

Scope: people aged 18 years and over


Smiley Competition between fixed telephony operators is based on unbundling



In 2005, competition between fixed telephony operators was primarily based on carrier selection or partial line unbundling ("voice on broadband"). Customers dealt with either just one operator, France Telecom in almost all cases, or with two operators, the incumbent and an alternative operator. In 2006, full unbundling of the local loop grew strongly, and 7% of adults now use the services of a single operator in their home—other than France Telecom (full unbundling). These people now use only telephony on broadband. The proportion of people dealing with more than one operator is declining, dropping from 25 to 22%. The proportion of people who use only the services of France Telecom remains stable (54%), whereas it had declined 10 points the previous year.



Breakdown of the population by fixed telephony equipment in the home

Scope: people aged 18 years and over


Source: CREDOC, Surveys "Conditions de vie et Aspirations des Français".






Smiley The number of individuals owning computer equipment continues to grow



In June 2006, 60% of those aged 12 and up had at least one computer in the home (12% had more than one) and 45% subscribe to Internet. These proportions reach 57% and 43% if we consider only the adult population (age 18 and over). Growth is strong once again this year (+4 points in both cases). High-speed Internet available in the home now concerns 38% of people aged 18 years and over.



Equipment rate of adults in computers and Internet connection in the home

Scope: people aged 18 years and over


Source: CREDOC, Surveys "Conditions de vie et Aspirations des Français".



For the past five years, individuals’ computer equipment rates have increasingly been related to Internet, although one-quarter of people owning a personal computer do not have Internet access. This gap is seen in all age groups: for example, among those aged 18-24, 73% have a personal computer in the home, but one-quarter do not have Internet access.



Source: CREDOC, Surveys "Conditions de vie et Aspirations des Français".



Smiley For younger age groups, fixed telephone equipment and Internet access almost always go hand in hand

Internet access becomes a powerful reason to subscribe to fixed telephone services: while many young people choose not to have a fixed telephone subscription and prefer mobile telephones (1/3 of 18-24 year olds and 1/4 of 25-39 year olds), equipment in fixed telephones goes hand in hand with Internet access for younger people. Most fixed telephony subscribers now surf the web, up to the age of 60.



Fixed telephony and Internet equipment in the home in June 2006

Scope: people aged 12 and up




Source: CREDOC, Surveys "Conditions de vie et Aspirations des Français".



Smiley Internet access at work stabilises



For people with a job, Internet access at work has not increased since 2004. It is likely that most working people in the service sector already have access, and Internet spreads less naturally to other types of jobs. For people who use Internet at work, the frequency of use is rising: 55% now use it daily, a percentage which was just 39% two years ago.



Proportion of people with Internet access at work or school

Scope: people aged 12 and up










Source: CREDOC, Surveys "Conditions de vie et Aspirations des Français".



For high school students (12-17 year olds), Internet access at school has been stagnating for two years. For university and high school students aged 18 years and up, access at school is down over 2004. It seems like students now prefer to use their own computer to access Internet rather than one available at school. Nevertheless, we must emphasise that one in five students still does not have Internet access at home or at school.

Smiley 55% have "surfed during the past 12 months"



Finally, 55% of all people 12 years or over have connected to Internet at least once in the past 12 months. This is three points more than last year. The stronger growth in use comes from the increase in personal equipment: 42% of people connect from home, five points more than in 2005. The frequency of connections at work or school is relatively stable at about one in four people. Ten percent of people use computers in public places, such as cyber-cafés, libraries, etc. Only a very small percentage of people use Internet access via a mobile telephone, or portable computer in a public place with WiFi access.

People having connected to Internet during the past 12 months, by connection location

Scope: people aged 12 and up


Source: CREDOC, Surveys "Conditions de vie et Aspirations des Français".



Smiley Telephone via ADSL or with computer



There are two ways to telephone via Internet:



  • Telephone via ADSL, also called "voice on broadband", refers to fixed telephony services using voice on IP technology on an Internet access network. The service is provided to the user by an operator which controls the quality of the service. In practice, the user connects a "box" to the telephone jack.



  • Telephone via computer, also called "voice on Internet", refers to voice communications services using the public Internet network. The quality of the service is not controlled by an operator. In practice, the user downloads software to his or her computer (Skype or Net Meeting for example), and connects speakers and a microphone to the computer; and if the computer has a webcam, the user can also send and receive video images of him or herself and the person being called.



The success of Internet access providers’ multi-play offers is quickly transforming the modes of access to telephony on fixed networks: 17% of people aged 12 and up had telephoned on Internet via ADSL in June 2006, for a 10 point increase over the previous year. Compared to those owning a fixed telephone line, this figure represents 20% of subscribers.

To telephone with the computer ("voice on Internet"), a number of things must first be done. Because of the added complication, this practice is less popular than the other: it concerns just 6% of the population.

Most people who telephone via the computer also use telephony via ADSL. As a result, the two percentages must not be totalled.





Fixed telephone and Internet equipment

Scope: entire population aged 12 and up
(as a %)


Source: CREDOC, Surveys "Conditions de vie et Aspirations des Français".







The survey was conducted through face-to-face interviews during the month of June 2006, with a sample of 2 228 people representative of the French population aged 12 and up.

This survey describes the equipment and uses of individuals.

In particular, the equipment rate is considered to be the proportion of individuals owning equipment in their home, and not the proportion of households owning equipment, which is generally the case in other studies.

For example, in this survey, 45% of the population aged 12 and up (or about 50 million people) had an Internet connection in the home in June 2006, whereas Médiamétrie considers that 42% of the 25 million households had an Internet connection at the same date. These two rates should not be identical, unless household equipment does not depend on the size of the household, which is not the case (large households generally own more equipment).

The characteristics of sex, age, education, profession and place of residence are of the person questioned, the income is that of the household to which this person belongs.

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Linked documents

Smiley Slides of the press conference (ppt (ppt - 736 Ko) - Smiley ) Smiley

Smiley The content of the survey Smiley Smiley

Smiley To downlaod the survey (pdf - 1,4 Mo (pdf - 1.40 Mo) - Smiley ) Smiley