Fibre drives French broadband: FTTH passes 15.58 million premises

Created September 10, 2019
News and Business

France’s fibre broadband wagon is speeding up, with the number of premises made connectable to FTTH increasing by 1.13 million in Q2 2019. This is about 37% more than in the same period the previous year. According to the latest quarterly account from national telecoms regulator l’Autorité de Régulation des Communications électroniques et des Postes (ARCEP), this was the best FTTH quarter recorded so far and, as of June 30, 2019, 15.58 million premises were eligible for FTTH offers, an increase of 32% in one year.

In terms of overall broadband take-up, ARCEP reports that quarterly growth came almost entirely from the increase in the number of end-to-end fibre optic subscriptions, up 495,000 from the previous quarter, contributing over 90% of the total increase. As of June 30, 2019, the number of end-to-end fibre access lines was 5.8 million lines, representing the addition of 1.9 million lines in one year.

While this is commendable, ARCEP cautions that the tempo of fibre deployment will need to accelerate. The regulator is in charge of monitoring compliance with the legal commitments made by Orange and SFR, two operators addressing fibre roll-outs in medium-sized cities and medium-density areas (called “zones AMII” in French).

At the end of the second quarter of 2019, approximately 55% of the premises of the municipalities to which Orange has committed had been made fibre connectable. The figure for the municipalities to which SFR has committed to make connectable was 44%.

ARCEP concludes that the two AMII operators will need to step up the pace of their deployments if they are to meet their targets on time. The first deadline is a commitment to have at least 92% of the premises passed by the end of 2020, with the remaining being passed “on request”.

The total number of French high and very high speed subscriptions (all technologies) reached 29.4 million at the end of the second quarter of 2019.

For more information, visit




This article was written
by John Williamson

John Williamson is a freelance telecommunications, IT and military communications journalist. He has also written for national and international media, and been a telecoms advisor to the World Bank.