Communiqué de presse

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 2014

Paris, 27 November 2014


RETAIL MARKETS: at the end of September 2014, there were 2.5 million superfast broadband subscriptions in use (+34% in a year) of which 800,000 to a complete fibre system (+67% in a year).

- In Q3 2014, the number of superfast broadband subscriptions, (maximum download speed equal to or higher than 30 Mbit/s) increased by 145,000 to reach 2.5 million, which means 635,000 additional subscriptions since the start of the year (+34%). Amongst this total, the number of subscriptions to fully optical (Fttx) connections (800,000 at the end of September 2014) increased by 67% over the previous year, i.e. by 320,000 subscriptions. These 2.5 million superfast broadband subscriptions also include VDSL2 plans delivering speeds equal to or above 30 Mbit/s, which ISPs have been marketing since 1 October 2013.

- The number of broadband subscriptions - i.e. to a connection with a maximum advertised download speed of less than 30 Mbit/s - stood at 23.2 million at the end of Q3 (+115,000 for the quarter).

- In total, then, the number of fixed broadband and superfast broadband subscriptions in France stood at 25.7 million at the end of Q3 2014, which marks an increase of 260,000 over the previous quarter and of one million for the year (+4%).

- At the end of September 2014, the subscription rate (1) for FttH superfast broadband had reached 22%, while the rate of subscription to all superfast access technologies combined stood at more than 21%. Both of these figures are increasing steadily.

WHOLESALE MARKETS: at the end of September 2014, 11.8 million households (+29% on the year) were eligible for a superfast broadband service, of which 3.6 million via FttH (+33% in a year).

- Operators have made substantial investments over the past several years to be able to deliver a wide range of solutions over a growing portion of the country. As a result, by the end of Q3 2014, alternative operators had unbundled 8,423 exchanges on the copper local loop, or 1,065 more than the year before, and now serve over 90.9% of all existing lines. Of this total number of lines eligible for LLU, 12.1 million have been unbundled, which is 701,000 more than at the same time the year before (+6.1%). This means that alternative operators have bought more than 13.3 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 2014, around 8.6 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. 5.8 million of these connections are capable of supplying a throughput of 100 Mbit/s or more, which is 15% more than in Q3 2013. Within this base of potential superfast broadband cable customers, 3.6 million of the homes passed are located outside of very high-density areas.

- Operators are also stepping up their fibre to the home (FttH) rollouts. As of 30 September 2014, 3.6 million homes were eligible to subscribe to an FttH plan, or 33% more than the year before. Around 60% of these homes, or a total 2.2 million households (33% more than in Q3 2013), have a choice between at least two superfast fibre access providers, thanks to network sharing schemes introduced by national regulation. Also noteworthy is that 894,000 of these 3.6 million homes are located outside very high-density areas, and that 543,000 are being served by public-initiative networks. This quarter also marks the first time that FttH rollouts in lower density areas (+ 123,000) outnumbered those in very high-density areas (+ 106,000).

- VDSL2 has been available across France since 1 October 2013. Among the lines covered by this technology, ARCEP puts the number capable of supplying superfast access, i.e. speeds equal to or above 30 Mbit/s, at 2.9 million (2). One year after VDSL2 was introduced, ARCEP records more than 7,750 exchanges that have been made VDSL2 capable by at least one operator, which represents coverage of around 90% of all the lines in France.

- All in all (3), at the end of Q3 2014, 11.8 million households in France were able to subscribe to a superfast internet access service, including 6.3 million households (55%) located outside of very high-density areas. These 11.8 million households with access to superfast broadband are to be set against, first, the 30.7 million main lines supplied by the legacy copper network and, second, the total number of French households: 28.5 million (4).

- 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) The subscription rate refers to the percentage of households eligible to subscribe to a given technology that actually subscribe.
(2) VDSL2 data on lines that are served indirectly (i.e. through a neighbourhood cabinet; available since 27 October 2014) are not included in this observatory, which covers the period running from 1 July to 30 September 2014. They will be included in the figures for Q4 2014. The launch of this new solution will bring the number of households eligible to subscribe to a superfast access plan to more than 12.8 million.
(3) 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.
(4) Source: INSEE housing figures for 2012.

Linked documents

RETAIL MARKETS (in French only)

WHOLESALE MARKETS (in French only)

OPEN DATA file (xlsx - 21 Ko) (xlsx)