The latest quarterly figures published by Arcep confirm the growth of optical fibre in France: "the fourth quarter of 2020 was marked by record growth in fibre optic deployment (FttH) and its adoption, which concludes another record year in 2020". The 10 million subscriptions to FttH offers have now passed the 10 million mark.
The number of very high-speed broadband subscriptions now stands at 14.7 million. This represents nearly half of the total number of Internet subscriptions in France, and 51% of the number of premises eligible for very high-speed broadband, an increase of 3 points in one year.
This growth is primarily due to the increase in FttH subscriptions. With 3.3 million additional accesses in 2020, the number of FttH subscriptions is estimated at 10.4 million, or 70% of the total number of very high-speed accesses. Although broadband subscriptions still make up the majority of Internet subscriptions, with almost 16 million, they have dropped by 2.5 million in 2020.
In total, at the end of 2020, France had 30.6 million broadband and very high-speed subscriptions. This represents an increase of 285,000 in one quarter and 800,000 in one year (+2.7%). "Such annual growth has not been observed for three years," according to estimates from Arcep.
A trend that owes much to the sustained deployment of end-to-end fiber optic lines by operators and players in the sector. More than 1.9 million additional premises were made connectable to FttH during the fourth quarter of 2020. "More than 5.8 million lines were deployed in 2020, despite the health situation, 19% more than in 2019," said the telecoms policeman.
Now, 24.2 million premises are eligible for FttH offers, an increase of 31% in one year. Most of this growth is located in medium-density areas - the AMII zone (Appel à Manifestation d'Intention d'Investissement). At the end of the fourth quarter of 2020, a total of 28.6 million premises were eligible for very high-speed broadband services, all technologies combined, including 21.7 million outside very dense areas.
While fiber deployment is progressing well, many homes and businesses are complaining about connectivity at half-mast. This is due to faulty maintenance or connections at sharing points, which generate numerous quality-of-service problems.
To remedy this, the operators have just concluded an agreement that could be a milestone in the sector. They are committed to improving the safety and quality of interventions with a new system of penalties.
The agreement, announced by Infranum, also provides for the collective assumption of the costs of restoring the network. This will slow down the explosion of "noodle dishes" overflowing the pooling points, which could eventually pose a major problem for the connectivity of individuals and professionals.
Source : ZDNet