France: 14.5m fibre access lines
May 26, 2022
From Pascale Paoli-Lebailly in Paris
There were a total 14.5 million active fibre access lines in France at the end of 2021, which represents a year-on-year increase of 4.1 million, according to telecoms watchdog Arcep’s 2021 annual Observatory. For the first time, there were more active fibre-based broadband and superfast broadband lines than copper network DSL-based ones (14.4 million.
Among a total 31.5 million fixed Internet access lines at the end of December 2021, 18.4 million are superfast access lines (58 per cent, + 10 points) and the vast majority of which are FTTH (79 per cent).
After a 10-year decline, operators’ retail market revenue was back on an upwards trajectory in 2021”, achieving a 2.5 per cent growth to €36.1 billion, retail market growth was driven by the mobile market.
Operators’ increased revenue was also as a result to a lesser extent to the ongoing rise in fixed services revenue that began in 2020, and especially to the growth of broadband and superfast broadband plan sales: + 4 per cent compared to 2021.
The spending by the sector’s stakeholders continues to climb, Arcep reports. In 2021, operators’ investments (excluding spending on 5G spectrum) reached €14.9 billion, which is more than a 10 per cent increase over one year. Superfast fixed and mobile local loop deployments represent €8.5 billion in spending, or 12 per cent more than in 2020. The purchase of 5G frequencies saw investments climb to €15.5 billion.