Optical fiber: Operators pass the 10 million FttH subscription mark

The adoption of optical fiber continues to make far-reaching progress in France. This is illustrated by the latest quarterly figures published by Arcep, for whom “the fourth quarter of 2020 was marked by a record increase in the deployment of optical fiber (FttH) and its adoption, which concludes a year 2020 it too record ”. And to note that the bar of 10 million subscriptions to FttH offers has finally been crossed.

“During the fourth quarter of 2020, the increase in the number of very high speed subscriptions (maximum downlink speed greater than or equal to 30 Mbit / s) accelerates to reach 1.1 million additional accesses”, estimates t -on the Arcep side. The Authority argues that the number of very high-speed subscriptions now stands at 14.7 million, or nearly half of the total number of internet subscriptions in France, and 51% of the number of eligible premises. at very high speed, an increase of 3 points in one year.

For Arcep, this progress owes above all to the increase in FttH subscriptions, which increased by 3.3 million additional accesses in 2020. And to put the number of FttH subscriptions at 10.4 million at the end of last year, or 70% of the total number of very high-speed accesses. This adoption is accompanied by a faster decline in the number of broadband subscriptions, which fell by 2.5 million in 2020, but which still constitute the majority of internet subscriptions at the end of 2020, with almost 16 million subscriptions.

Deployment at no charge

In total, France had 30.6 million high and very high speed subscriptions at the end of 2020, an increase of 285,000 in one quarter, and of 800,000 in one year (+ 2.7 %). “Such annual growth had not been observed for three years”, estimates on the side of Arcep.

This trend owes a lot to the sustained deployment of end-to-end fiber optic lines by operators and industry players. During the fourth quarter of 2020, more than 1.9 million additional premises were made connectable to the FttH, approximately 16% more than in the same period of the previous year. “More than 5.8 million lines were deployed during the year 2020, despite the health situation, or 19% more than in 2019”, argues the telecoms gendarme.

24.2 million locals are now eligible for FttH offers, an increase of 31% in one year. It should be noted that this growth is mainly located in a moderately dense zone, also called the AMII zone (for Call for expression of investment intention). In total, at the end of the fourth quarter of 2020, 28.6 million premises were eligible for very high speed services, all technologies combined, including 21.7 million outside very dense areas.

Put an end to “noodle dishes”

The fact remains that if the deployment of optical fiber is going well on French territory, many homes or companies complain about connectivity at half mast. Blame it on maintenance or connection faults on the pooling points. These difficulties generate numerous quality of service problems, which are wonderfully illustrated by these numerous civil engineering cabinets transformed into “noodle dishes”.

To remedy these very cumbersome shortcomings, the operators taking the initiative in the deployment of optical fiber in the territory have just concluded an agreement which could be a landmark in the sector. At the end of this agreement, already endorsed by players such as Axione and Altitude Infra, the operators undertake to improve the safety and quality of interventions, by strengthening contractual procedures for the recovery of defects and by carrying out joint audits between infrastructure operators and commercial operators. A framework which is accompanied by a new system of sanctions which can go as far as the exclusion of a subcontractor in the event of contractual breach.

While the law currently stipulates that the infrastructure operator alone is responsible for the proper functioning and maintenance of fiber optic connection equipment, the agreement announced by Infranum provides for collective coverage of the costs of refurbishment. network status, according to a distribution key approved by Arcep. What slow down the explosion of “noodle dishes” overflowing with points of mutualisation, which could ultimately pose a major problem for the connectivity of individuals and professionals.

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