Today, Arcep is publishing its scoreboard for the fixed broadband and superfast broadband market (rollouts and subscriptions) in France at the end of 2017. It confirms the steady increase in FttH subscription rates and rollouts.
SUBSCRIPTIONS: growth of superfast access services being driven chiefly by fibre to the home (FttH), which now represents 3.3 million subscriptions
In Q4 2017 the number of superfast broadband subscriptions (maximum download speed equal to or faster than 30 Mbit/s) increased by 475,000 to reach 7 million, or an additional 1.5 million subscriptions year on year (YoY), compared to an increase of 1.2 million the previous year. The majority of this growth can be attributed to an increase in the number of subscriptions to fibre to the home/building (FttH/B) plans, which rose by 355,000 compared to Q3 2017 and by 1.1 million since Q4 2016. This is to be set against increases of 500,000 and 720,000 in 2015 and 2016, respectively. At then end of 2017, there were 3.3 million FttH access lines in use.
In total, subscriptions to superfast plans accounted for 40% of all fixed broadband and superfast broadband subscriptions in France, which marks a 6-point increase over the previous year.
The total number of broadband and superfast broadband subscriptions stood at 28.4 million at the end of 2017, which marks an increase of 215,000 over the previous quarter and of 765,000 year on year (+2.8%).
ROLLOUTS: growth continues and is expected to accelerate
The pace of FttH rollouts has increased compared to the fourth quarter of 2016 and to the previous quarter, with the deployment of an additional 715,000 lines in Q4, which marks the largest ever quarterly increase as well as ongoing steady progress for fibre to the home rollouts. Market players nevertheless need to continue to step up the pace of their rollouts to be able to meet their coverage targets.
As of 31 December 2017, 10.2 million households were eligible to subscribe to an FttH plan, which is a 34% increase YoY.
In total, at the end of Q4 2017, 17.7 million households in France were able to subscribe to a superfast internet access service, all technologies combined, including 11.8 million located outside of very high-density areas.
The rate of FttH line sharing is still very low in sparsely populated areas that are covered by private initiative network (PIN) rollouts: 24% versus the national average of 72%. The first agreements between national operators and PIN operators have not yet had the desired effects, but they are expected to materialise in the coming months.
FttH rollout data have been updated on the cartefibre.arcep.fr website, and made available as open data.
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