The deployment of fiber in France is slowing considerably

Very high-speed broadband continues to progress in France, reaching very good equipment rates, especially in densely populated areas. But the figures need to be qualified, because a slowdown in deployment has been observed by Arcep in these areas and even more so in the least populated ones.

While Arcep has just published the results of its quarterly monitoring of the market for high and very high speed fixed services (speed above 30 Mbit/s), the findings are clear, the year seems to have started off on a high note. wheels. However, if during the first quarter of 2023 the number of fiber optic subscriptions continues to grow rapidly, the deployment of fiber is marking time, especially in sparsely populated areas.

Optical fiber becomes the majority

As of March 31, 2023, 35.3 million premises (apartments, houses, offices, etc.) can be connected to fiber optics up to the subscriber (FttH), i.e. a little over 80% of premises in the national territory. If you add cable internet, that gives us 37.6 million locals who potentially have access to very high speed on wired networks in France. This represents a growth of approximately 3.6 million over the past year.

An increase which is accompanied by that of the number of very high speed subscriptions (nine points more in one year) which has now reached 22.3 million, or 70% of the total number of internet subscriptions. Most of this growth is due to the increase in fiber optic subscriptions, which now represent 59% of the total number of Internet subscriptions, ie 10 points more in one year, while cable Internet continues to decline. Very satisfactory figures, but which are also misleading.

The eternally neglected rural areas?

Arcep defines several types of deployment zones, very densely populated, less densely populated and less dense public initiative zones. In the first two cases, the investment is mainly private. While in the second, where the profitability is more uncertain, it is the local authorities that are in charge within the framework of the Public Initiative Networks.

However, in the first quarter of 2023 only 840,000 additional premises were made connectable to fiber optics, i.e. around 20% less than in the same period of the previous year. A notable drop which is also confirmed in the less dense areas of private initiative, with only 120,000 premises which have been made connectable, a drop of more than 50% compared to the first quarter of 2022. Even very dense areas see their progress fall with less than 50,000 premises made connectable, i.e. a drop of almost half compared to the first quarter of 2022.

The operators are also late on the deployment schedule with in the first quarter of 2023:

  • Around 89% of the premises of the municipalities to which Orange is committed can be connected;
  • Around 95% of the premises of the municipalities to which SFR is committed can be connected.

Although very dense urban areas are better and better equipped with fiber optics, the figures need to be qualified and highlight major disparities. Thus, if 96% of Paris is connectable to optical fiber, Lille is only 50%. The slowdown even in these areas can be questionable. Because it is added to the delay in rural areas which remain the great forgotten of the digital revolution. No explanation is given for this slowdown which is not in line with the France Very High Speed ​​Plan which plans to generalize optical fiber throughout France by 2025. To give you a more precise and visual idea of ​​FTTH coverage in France, we refer you to the official map of Arcep.


Bbox fit Fibre

Débit jusqu’à 400 Mb/s

Sans Player TV

Téléphonie vers 110 destinations

Fibre, Câble

RED box Fibre

Débit jusqu’à 500 Mb/s

Sans Player TV

Téléphonie vers 100 destinations

ADSL, Fiber
Freebox Pop

Flow rate up to 5 Gbps

220 TV channels included

Telephony to 110 destinations

All internet boxes

To follow us, we invite you to download our Android and iOS application. You can read our articles, files, and watch our latest YouTube videos.

Similar Posts