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Data: French FTTH adoption rises

June 14, 2022

By Colin Mann

Figures from France’s telecoms regulator Arcep reveal the rate of fibre to the home (FTTH) deployment and adoption remained high in the first quarter of 2022.

ROLLOUTS: The overall rate of deployment slowed in Q1 while remaining solid, with 1.1 million new FTTH lines deployed over the course of the quarter –

  • Over the course of Q1 2022, 1.1 million additional premises were passed for FTTH – or around 20 per cent fewer than in Q1 2021.
  • As of March 31st 2022, 30.8million premises were eligible to subscribe to an FTTH access service, or 21 per cent more than one year earlier. Around 72 per cent of all premises in France are thus eligible for FTTH.
  • Over the course of this first quarter, 700,000 premises in lower density public-initiative areas were rendered eligible for fibre access, which marks a 6 per cent increase YoY.
  • The pace of FTTH deployment in areas covered by private initiative continues to slow compared to the previous quarter, with fewer than 300,000 additional premises passed in Q1 2022, which is a rate comparable to the one observed in 2016.
  • Additional premises passed in those areas covered by calls for expressions of local interest (called ‘zones AMEL’ in French) exceeded 300,000 at the end of Q1 2022.
  • Lastly, the insufficient rate of progress of the past several quarters persists in very high-density areas, and the production of new lines has even decreased by a third compared to Q1 2021.
  • In total, at the end of Q1 2022, 34 million households in France were able to subscribe to a superfast internet access service over a fixed network.

Monitoring operators’ compliance with their legally binding FTTH rollout commitments

Arcep is responsible for monitoring operators’ compliance with the commitments they have made, and publishes a progress report on the rollouts in question on a regular basis.

At the end of Q1 2022, in those parts of the country where the Government has issued a call for investment letters of intent (‘zones AMII’):

  • around 86 per cent of the premises for which Orange has made a commitment had been made eligible for fibre access,
  • and around 94 per cent of those in municipalities where SFR has made a commitment had been made eligible for fibre access.

SUBSCRIPTIONS: fibre access subscription numbers remain high, with an additional 1 million access lines over the course of Q1 2022. At the end of March 2022, fibre connections represented 50 per cent of all broadband and superfast broadband subscriptions in France.

  • Superfast broadband subscription numbers continue to climb unabated. They reached 19.3 million as of 31 March 2022, and accounted for 61 per cent of all broadband and superfast broadband internet subscriptions in France (+10 points YoY). Quarterly growth for superfast subscriptions remains high (+ 845,000 in Q1 2022) but is below the +1.1 million increase of the previous year, which is due primarily to the accelerated rate of decline in subscriptions to hybrid fibre solutions with coaxial cable in the last mile.
  • This growth has been entirely due to an increase in fibre-to-the-home subscriptions: +1 million subscriptions in Q1 2022, and +4 million YoY. At the end of March 2022, the number of end-to-end fibre connections in France stood at 15.5 million and represented 49 per cent of all broadband and superfast broadband connections. Of all the premises in France eligible to subscribe to FTTH, half actually do subscribe to a fibre to the home plan.
  • Customers continue to upgrade from broadband to superfast broadband subscriptions, with ‘classic’ broadband subscriptions totalling 12.3 million at the end of Q1 2022, and continuing to shrink (- 2.8 million YoY).
  • The total number of broadband and superfast broadband subscriptions stood at 31.6 million as of 31 March 2022, increasing by 135,000 over the quarter (versus + 215,000 in Q1 2021) at by 2.5 per cent YoY.


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