Today ARCEP is publishing its electronic communications market indicators for wholesale and retail fixed broadband and superfast broadband services in France in the third quarter of 2013

Paris, 28 November 2013

Retail market: 70% more FTTH accounts than the year before

  • As of 30 September 2013, there were more than 1.8 million superfast broadband subscriptions (maximum download speed equal to or higher than 30 Mbit/s), which is 355,000 more than at the same time the year before (+24%) This means that of all the households in France that are able to subscribe to a superfast service, 20% actually do subscribe. FTTH (fibre to the home) plans are the ones enjoying the highest rate of increase (+71.5%), totalling 465,000 at the end of September 2013 (50,000 additional accounts from the previous quarter and +195,000 compared to Q3 2012).

  • The number of broadband subscriptions, i.e. with a maximum download speed below 30 Mbit/s, stands at 22.8 million (+180,000 compared to Q2 and +2.9% compared to Q3 2012). Ninety eight percent of these are xDSL plans, while the remaining 2% of connections are supplied by cable or wireless technologies such as satellite, Wi-Fi, WiMAX, etc.

  • All in all, the number of broadband and superfast broadband subscriptions stood at 24.6 million on 30 September 2013, which is up by 260,000 on the previous quarter and by 1 million over Q3 2012.

Wholesale market: investments in superfast networks continue, with 235,000 additional households made eligible for FTTH in Q3 2013

  • Operators have been investing heavily over the past several years to be able to deliver a wide range of solutions over a growing portion of the country. By the end of Q3 2013, alternative operators had unbundled 7,350 exchanges in the copper local loop, which represent close to 88.6% of all existing lines. Of the total number of lines eligible for LLU, 11.4 million have been unbundled, which is 738,000 more than in 2012 (+6.9%). Alternative operators have thus bought 12.77 million wholesale connections from Orange, via LLU and bitstream.

  • Coaxial cable systems also continue to be upgraded. As a result, by the end of Q3 2013, around 8.6 million homes had been passed 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 Mbits/s, which marks a 1.5% increase over last year. Of these connections, 5.1 million are capable of supplying speeds equal to or above 100 Mbits/s, which is 8% more than in Q3 2011. Within this base of potential superfast broadband cable customers, 3.3 million of the homes passed are located outside of very high-density areas.

  • Operators have stepped up the pace of their FTTH rollouts. As of 30 September 2013, 2.74 million homes were eligible to subscribe to an FTTH service, which marks a 40% increase on the year before. 1.4 million of these homes have a choice between at least two providers (or 49% more than in 2011), thanks to network sharing schemes laid out in the regulatory framework. Also worth noting is that 492,000 of these 2.74 million homes are located outside of very high-density areas, and that 455,000 are being served by public-initiative networks.

  • In total, then, at the end of the third quarter of 2013, 9.1 million homes in France were able to subscribe to a superfast broadband service , including 3.7 million (41%) homes located outside of very high-density areas - with some having a choice between two superfast solutions: one supplied over the upgraded cable network and the other over an FTTH system. This figure of 9.1 million eligible households is to be set against the 30.9 million lines in France supplied by the legacy copper network.

Linked documents

Wholesale Market (in French only) 

Retail Market (in French only)