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BROADBAND AND SUPERFAST BROADBAND MARKET

Today ARCEP is publishing its electronic communications market indicators for wholesale and retail fixed broadband and superfast broadband services in France in the second quarter of 2015 

Paris, 3 September 2015

ONGOING GROWTH IN THE SUPERFAST BROADBAND MARKET

SUBSCRIPTIONS: at the end of June 2015, there were 3.8 million superfast broadband subscriptions in use (+63% in a year) of which 1.1 million to a complete fibre system (FttH), which marks a 58% increase over the year before.

- In Q2 2015, the number of superfast broadband subscriptions (maximum download speed equal to or higher than 30 Mbit/s) increased by 280,000 to reach 3.8 million, which means 1.5 million additional subscriptions since the same time last year (+63%). Within this total, the number of subscriptions to access lines providing a superfast connection at speeds equal to or above 100 Mbit/s increased by 150,000 over the previous quarter, including 100,000 fully fibre lines, bringing the total number of FttH subscriptions at the end of June 2015 to 1.14 million. The number of subscriptions to access lines providing speeds of between 30 and 100 Mbit/s increased by 130,000 on the year, bringing their total to 1.690 million (+108%). These superfast broadband subscriptions also include VDSL2 plans, all of which deliver speeds equal to or above 30 Mbit/s, which ISPs have been marketing since 1 October 2013 - in addition to being extended to indirect distribution lines (i.e. from neighbourhood cabinets) since 27 October 2014. At the end of June 2015, the rate of adoption (1) for superfast broadband stood at 28%, which marks a seven-point increase over Q2 2014.

- The number of broadband subscriptions - i.e. to a connection with a maximum advertised download speed of less than 30 Mbit/s - stood at 22.4 million at the end of the quarter, which is 190,000 less than in the previous quarter. These customers nevertheless still account for 85% of all broadband and superfast broadband subscriptions.

- In total, then, the number of fixed broadband and superfast broadband subscriptions in France stood at 26.3 million at the end of Q2 2015, which marks an increase of 90,000 over the previous quarter and of 860,000 for the year (+3.4%).

NETWORK ROLLOUTS: at the end of June 2015, 13.9 million households (+20% on the year) were eligible for a superfast broadband service, of which 4.7 million via FttH (+39% in a year).

- Operators have made substantial investments over the past several years to be able to deliver a wide range of solutions over a growing portion of the country. As a result, by the end of Q2 2015, alternative operators had unbundled 9,189 exchanges on the copper local loop, or over 1,000 more than the year before, and now serve 91.6% of all existing lines - which is up by 1.3 points on the year. Of this total number of lines eligible for LLU, 12.3 million have been unbundled, which is 368,000 more than at the same time the year before (+3.1%). This means that alternative operators have bought more than 13.5 million wholesale connections from Orange, via LLU and bitstream.

- Upgrades to the country's coaxial cable networks are also ongoing. As a result, by the end of Q2 2015, around 8.9 million homes had been equipped for FttLA and HFC access - i.e. optical fibre to the last amplifier and coaxial cable in the last metres, delivering speeds equal to or above 30 Mbit/s. 6.5 million of these connections are capable of supplying a throughput of 100 Mbit/s or more, which is 16% more than in Q2 2014. Within this base of potential superfast broadband cable customers, 3.8 million of the homes passed are located outside of very high-density areas.

- Operators are also accelerating their fibre to the home (FttH) rollouts. As of 30 June 2015, 4.7 million homes were eligible to subscribe to an FttH plan, or 39% more than the year before. The rate of increase continued to be steady in the second quarter of the year, bringing coverage to an additional 372,000 homes and so increasing the number of eligible homes by 8% over the previous quarter. Around 61% of these homes, or a total 2.9 million households (+47% on the year), have a choice between at least two superfast fibre access providers, thanks to network sharing schemes introduced by national regulation. Also noteworthy is that 1.6 million of these 4.7 million homes are located outside very high-density areas, and that 707,000 are being served by public-initiative networks. For the first time ever, there were twice as many FttH net adds in lower density areas (+ 268,000) as there were in very high-density areas (+ 104,000).

- ARCEP puts the number of lines capable of supplying superfast access, i.e. speeds equal to or above 30 Mbit/s, at 5.1 million, or around 74,000 more lines than in the previous quarter. At the end of June 2015, around 10,300 NRA exchanges were VDSL2-capable, which represents coverage of around 93.4% of all the lines in France.

- All in all (2), at the end of the second quarter of 2015, 13.9 million households in France were able to subscribe to a superfast internet access service, including 8.4 million households (61%) located outside of very high-density areas.

- An open data file is available on the ARCEP website, which makes it possible to track the indicators published as part of this observatory over time.

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(1) The rate of adoption, or rate of subscription refers to the percentage of households among those eligible to subscribe to a superfast access plan that actually do subscribe.

(2) Some households have access to a choice of several solutions: supplied over the upgraded cable network, over an FttH system or a VDSL2 plan supplied over the legacy copper network



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