France is increasingly switching to very high speed thanks to optical fiber

Three out of four very high-speed subscriptions benefit from optical fiber in France. And there are now a majority of subscriptions that are very high speed.

The growth of optical fiber in France continues at a sustained pace. The latest update from the telecoms regulator, published on September 9, shows that this mode of Internet access is in the majority among very high-speed accesses (a category which includes cable in particular). In addition, very high speed is also dominant compared to traditional high speed access, such as ADSL.

Stated on June 30, 2021, the statistics provided by the regulatory authority show 12.4 million end-to-end optical fiber subscriptions (in FttH, or Fiber to the Home), that is to say links fiber optic cables that go to the user’s home. The pool of locals eligible for FttH offers is even greater: there are 27 million in the country.

3 out of 4 very high-speed subscriptions benefit from optical fiber

In this case, these FttH subscriptions represent almost about 75% of the total number of very high speed subscriptions. The latter are indeed 16.6 million in France – again according to statistics stopped at the end of June. In addition to optical fiber to the subscriber and coaxial cable, this category of very high speed subscriptions includes VDSL2, which is a specific variation of ADSL.

An Internet connection is considered to deliver very high speed when its download speed reaches at least 30 Mbit / s. Below this threshold, the connection provides broadband. This is an arbitrary demarcation, common in the European Union. Other countries around the world set different levels. In the past, the regulator had retained the threshold of 50 Mbit / s.

These data testify to an ever more marked shift in France in high connection speeds. Compared to broadband, optical fiber and other comparable access modes represent 54% of the total number of subscriptions, or more than one in two. Trend which is accentuated over time, due to “ an ever faster decline in the number of broadband accesses “.

Optical fiber
Deployment in progress, in 2016. // Source: Department of Yvelines

In one year, there were 4.1 million new fiber subscribers in France. And in the second quarter of 2021 alone, a million. In terms of deployments, 1.5 million new FttH lines and a ” strong acceleration of deployments »In public initiative networks, areas in which local authorities have control over the digital development of the territory.

This dynamism is taking place within the framework of a plan called France Très Haut Débit, which aims for the complete connection of the country by FttH optical fiber in 2022, with a threshold of at least 80% of eligible housing. This plan, launched in 2013, has been criticized for its cost and its relevance: for some very rural areas, arguments are being heard to end the coverage with 4G or 5G.

In theory, France will be fully connected by optical fiber (FTTH) in 2025. This is what the France Very High Speed ​​plan provides. If concerns persist about the relevance and cost of this plan – some consider, for example, that in certain very rural areas, it is better to cover the last kilometers with 4G or 5G – this strategy is continuing. And it is possible to follow its evolution.

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