France reports record fibre figures

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The French Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Post (Arcep) has released its scoreboard for the fixed broadband and superfast broadband market in France as of the end of December 2020.  

Amongst its findings, the report detailed that France surpassed the 10 million FTTH connections milestone in the fourth quarter of last year, while fibre roll-out in the country also hit a new record. 

During of Q4 2020, the growth pace of broadband subscriptions with a maximum download speed equal to or faster than 30 Mb/s growth stepped up to reach an additional 1.1 million connections, taking the total to 14.7 million, or nearly half of all internet access lines in France 

This growth is attributed to an increase in the number of subscriptions to FTTH plans, which rose by 3.3 million over the course of the year, and the technology now represents 70 per cent of all superfast access subscriptions in France. At the same time there has been a rapid decrease in the number of ‘traditional’ broadband connections, which were down by 2.5 million year-on-year versus a drop of 1.7 million a year earlier. 

Over the course of the quarter, more than 1.9 million additional premises were passed for FTTH, roughly a 16 per cent increase year-on-year. More than 5.8 million lines were deployed during the year, which equated to around 19 per cent more than in 2019. This is in spite of the Covid-19 crisis. Also during the quarter, 24.2 million premises were eligible to subscribe to an FTTH access service - 31 per cent more than one year earlier. 

The majority of the growth has taken place in parts of the country where the Government has issued a call for investment letters of intent (AMII zones). The pace deployments in AMII areas was close to the highest on record, with more than 650,000 additional premises becoming eligible for fibre access. Rollouts are also intensifying in areas covered by calls for expressions of local interest ( AMEL zones), where there were close to 100,000 premises passed at the end of 2020.

However, acknowledged the report, the accelerated pace observed nationwide is not found systematically in very high-density areas, where the insufficient rate of progress of the past several quarters continues.

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