Today ARCEP is publishing its electronic communications market indicators for the fixed broadband and superfast broadband market (services, rollouts and subscriptions) in France in the third quarter of 2015

Paris, 3 December 2015


SUBSCRIPTIONS: at the end of September 2015, there were 3.9 million superfast broadband subscriptions in use (+56% in a year) of which 1.3 million to a complete fibre system, which is 57% higher than the year before.

- In Q3 2015, the number of superfast broadband subscriptions, (maximum download speed equal to or higher than 30 Mbit/s) increased by 260,000 to reach 3.9 million, which means 1.4 million additional subscriptions since the start of the year. Of this total, the number of subscriptions to a superfast access plan with a connection speed of 100 Mbit/s and up increased by 240,000 during the quarter, including an additional 115,000 subscriptions to fully optical (Fttx) connections, for a total 1.255 million FttH subscriptions at the end of June 2015. The number of subscriptions to plans with a connection speed of between 30 and 100 Mbit/s increased by 20,000 over the previous quarter to reach 1.495 million (+77%). These include VDSL2 plans, all of which deliver speeds equal to or above 30 Mbit/s, which ISPs have been marketing since 1 October 2013 - in addition to being extended to indirect distribution lines (i.e. from neighbourhood cabinets) since 27 October 2014.

- The number of broadband subscriptions - i.e. to a connection with a maximum advertised download speed of less than 30 Mbit/s - stood at 22.7 million at the end of the quarter, which is virtually unchanged from the previous quarter. These customers nevertheless account for 85% of all broadband and superfast broadband subscriptions.

- In total, then, the number of fixed broadband and superfast broadband subscriptions in France stood at 26.5 million at the end of Q3 2015, which marks an increase of 270,000 over the previous quarter and of 890,000 for the year (+3.4%).

ROLLOUTS: at the end of September 2015, 14.2 million households (+21% on the year) were eligible for a superfast broadband service, of which 5 million via FttH (+38% in a year).

- Operators have made substantial investments over the past several years, which has enabled them to deliver a wide range of access products over a growing portion of the country. As a result, by the end of Q3 2015, alternative operators had unbundled 9,340 exchanges on the copper local loop, or 900 more than the year before, and now serve over 91.6% of all existing lines (+0.7 points in a year). Of this total number of lines eligible for LLU, 12.4 million have been unbundled, which is 270,000 or 2.1% more than at the same time the year before. This means that alternative operators have bought more than 13.5 million wholesale connections from Orange, via LLU and bitstream.

- Upgrades to the country's coaxial cable networks are also ongoing. As a result, by the end of Q3 2015, around 8.9 million homes had been equipped for FttLA and HFC access - i.e. optical fibre to the last amplifier and coaxial cable in the last metres, delivering speeds equal to or above 30 Mbit/s. 6.9 million of these connections are capable of supplying a throughput of 100 Mbit/s or more, which is 18% more than in Q3 2014. Within this base of potential superfast broadband cable customers, 3.9 million of the homes passed are located outside of very high-density areas.

- Operators are accelerating the pace of their fibre to the home (FttH) rollouts. As of 30 September 20145, 5.016 million homes were eligible to subscribe to an FttH plan, or 38% more than the year before. The rate of increase continued to be steady in Q3 2015, bringing coverage to an additional 278,000 homes and so increasing the number of eligible homes by 6% over the previous quarter. Around 6% of these homes, or a total 3 million households (+34% on the year), have a choice between at least two superfast fibre access providers, thanks to network sharing schemes introduced by national regulation. Also noteworthy is that 1.8 million of these 5 million homes are located outside very high-density areas, and that 734,000 are being served by public-initiative networks. FttH net adds in lower density areas (+ 187,000) outnumbered those in very high-density areas (+ 91,000).

- ARCEP puts the number of lines capable of supplying superfast access, i.e. speeds equal to or above 30 Mbit/s, at 5.2 million, or around 117,000 more lines than in the previous quarter. At the end of September 2015, around 10,800 NRA exchanges were VDSL2-capable, which represents coverage of around 94% of all the lines in France.

- In all (1), at the end of the third quarter of 2015, 14.2million households in France were able to subscribe to a superfast internet access service, including 8.8 million households (62%) located outside of very high-density areas.

- An open data file is available on the ARCEP website, which makes it possible to track the indicators published as part of this observatory over time.


(1) Some households have access to a choice of several solutions: supplied over the upgraded cable network, over an FttH system or a VDSL2 plan supplied over the legacy copper network.

Linked documents

Subscriptions (in French only)

Services Rollouts (in French only)