France to cover half of population with high speed broadband by year-end

8 Sep 2016

The French government will meet its target of covering at least half of the population with ultra-fast broadband by the end of 2016, one year ahead of schedule, Les Echos reports. Jean-Michel Baylet, minister for rural development, was cited as saying: ‘50% of the population will be covered by a high speed broadband connection at the end of the year … While only 27% of premises were connectable end of 2012, the figures for the second quarter 2016 show that we have reached a rate of 47.4%, double the population covered in three years.’

TeleGeography notes that under the ‘Tres Haut Debit (THD)’ plan, introduced in November 2012, the government is aiming to cover 50% of the country with next generation access (NGA) networks – capable of delivering download speeds of at least 30Mbps – by end of 2017, with 100% of the French population set to be eligible for ultra-high speed broadband services by 2022. A total of EUR20 billion (USD22.6 billion) of private and public investment is estimated to be needed to meet the 2022 target, with the funds set to be provided by three tranches of more than EUR6 billion each from network operators, operators/local governments, and state/local governments.