Fibre slow to take off in France: Arcep

Around 4.5 million French households are now within reach of an optical fibre network, but just 290,000 of these are currently FTTH or HFC subscribers, according to regulator Arcep.
There were around 800,000 households in 40,000 buildings equipped with FTTH and eligible to receive a FTTH service, Arcep said  in its latest ultra-fast broadband scorecard. Operators deploying FTTH include France Telecom, SFR and Free.
Meanwhile HFC technology - which is being deployed by Numericable - has a far wider reach, making up the remainder of the 4.5 million households.
As of December 31, France had just 70,000 FTTH and FTTB subscribers, and 220,000 HFC subscribers. But the number of FTTH subscriptions grew by 10,000 in one quarter, Arcep said in a separate report.
Overall there were 19.69 million high-speed and ultra high-speed internet subscriptions in France by the end of the year. The number of subscriptions grew by 10%, or 1.87 million, during the year.
 Around 18.4 million, or 95%, of all high speed broadband subscriptions – were ADSL connections.
There were 9.7 million wholesale broadband DSL connections sold at the end of 2009 – an increase of 1.1 million.
But just 300 people were connected to ultra-fast broadband via a network sharing agreement with their provider and a competing operator. Arcep said it expects this figure to grow substantially “thanks to the shared rollouts that have begun in application of the ARCEP decision [on] the terms for accessing ultra-fast broadband.”