France has the third largest broadband subscriber base in Europe. Growth in 2009 has been bolstered by demand for high bandwidth applications, considerable investment in fibre infrastructure, and a pro-competitive regulator which has promoted access to France Telecom’s network for new entrants through local loop unbundling. Recent legislation has secured similar access for fibre infrastructure. DSL dominates broadband access, while fibre deployment has become a substantial proposition, particularly in the Paris region. Although the cable footprint only reaches about 40% of the population, the dominant cableco Numéricable has upgraded its network to compete with DSL and has itself entered the DSL market through acquisitions.
This report assesses France’s fixed broadband market, focussing on cable and DSL as well as developments with related technologies such as ADSL2+ and VDSL2 as well as the fast-developing FttH/C sectors. It reviews the strategies of the principal providers such as France Telecom, Iliad and SFR, considers the regulatory status of LLU, and provides forecasts for broadband penetration to 2020.
Broadband subscriber growth remains strong at 8%; DSL subscriber base broaches 21 million; cable sector accounts for 5% of total broadband; success of fibre co-investment deals among operators; fibre sector awaiting killer apps; regulator’s market data to end-2012; operator data to Q4 2012; market developments to April 2013.