France's FTTH base rises by 50,000 in first quarter, ARCEP says

France continues to make headway with fiber to the home (FTTH), adding 50,000 subscribers in Q1 2013, according to its telecom regulator Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (ARCEP). That's up almost 70 percent over the same period in 2012.

Driven by the efforts of the country's incumbent telco Orange and competitive providers such as SFR, about 19 percent of homes in France have been passed by fiber. During this period, the overall number of homes that had 30 Mbps or higher download speeds rose over 100,000 to reach a total of 1.7 million.

France Telecom and SFR, in particular, see a strong future in FTTH. In April, the duo announced a joint agreement with France's central government and the Ile-de-France region to bring FTTH to major Paris suburbs by the year 2020.

Likewise, France has taken an aggressive stance on driving FTTH deployments. In February, the government revealed plans to dedicate €20 billion ($27 billion), using a mix of public and private funds, to drive build outs of fiber-based broadband networks. To fund its ambitious plan, the government will work with three sources: service providers like Orange, a combination of service providers and local government, and state and local government entities.

Overall, France had over 24.2 million broadband subscribers as of the end of March. Out of that figure, 665,000 million customers were able to get between 30-100 Mbps speeds, while over 1 million of the users could get a 100 Mbps connection, up 46 percent year-over-year.

Despite the allure of FTTH, 160,000 customers subscribed to services of less than 30 Mbps to reach 22.5 million with DSL accounting for 98 percent of these subscriptions.

For more:
- TeleGeography has this article

Related articles:
France Telecom, SFR to deploy FTTH in Paris suburbs
France's SFR launches premium triple-play offering
France launches 10-year, $27 billion fiber broadband initiative
French government fights telecom sector layoffs
France Telecom strikes FTTH network pact with Bouygues Telecom

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