Optical fiber: France passes the milestone of 10 million subscribers

Since the first confinement, consumers have flocked to the most efficient internet connections.

More than 10 million French households are now connected to the Internet via the. According to the Telecoms Authority (), precisely 10.4 million consumers have opted for fiber, including 3.3 million new subscribers in 2020 alone. “This technology represents 70% of the total number of very high speed accesses», Emphasizes Arcep. France has 30.6 million fixed broadband and very high speed subscriptions (ADSL / VDLS, fiber and cable) and 40.7 million premises (housing, professional establishments, etc.), according to an estimate by Arcep.

This increase in the number of fiber subscribers is also linked to the acceleration of the deployment of this technology in France. 24.2 million premises are now eligible for fiber: if their occupants request it, they can subscribe to fiber. That’s 19% more in a year. The confinements had no impact on the rate of annual deployment of very high fixed speed. In detail, after a slowdown in March, operators and their subcontractors have worked hard to catch up. Thereby, “in the fourth quarter, more than 1.9 million premises were made connectable to FTTH (fiber to the home), i.e. around 16% more than in the same period of the previous year», Reports Arcep.

« 2020 is a record year for the deployment of optical fiber in all territories. It is the translation of the strategy initiated at the instigation of the President of the Republic within the framework of the France Very High Speed ​​Plan. The full mobilization of the State alongside local authorities and operators is reducing the digital divide a little further every day in all territories, especially rural ones. We remain vigilant and continue our investments, including 570 M € recently notably through France Relance, because the project is not completed and many territories remain to be covered.. »Cédric O, Secretary of State for Digital and Telecoms, declares to Figaro.

All the territory concerned

Another good news for consumers in need of very high speed: fiber is deployed throughout the country. Rural areas and moderately dense municipalities (in telecoms parlance, RIPs, AMII and AMEL zones) benefit from the increased deployment efforts of operators, whether private (Orange and SFR are maneuvering in the AMII / Amel zones) or public. In RIP zones, local communities own the networks.

«On the other hand, the trend observed at the national level is still not reflected in very dense areas where the insufficient pace observed in recent quarters continues.», Notes Arcep. It just goes to show that infrastructure competition does not always pay off.

The deployment of fiber in France is scrutinized by all players in the sector. The more so as a second very sensitive file depends on it: that of. The network that supports ADSL is aging. It is owned by Orange and its rivals pay it rent to use it for their own subscribers. The faster the fiber is deployed, the faster it will be possible to stop copper. From an economic point of view, but above all ecological, the transition from two to a single fixed network, would be good news.