After backlash from local authorities, the national government has revised application rules for public funding and returned the 92% target to the full 100%
France, like so much of Europe, has a long way to go when it comes to fibre.
ARCEP reported that FTTH had reached 15.58 million homes in June 2019, but this number represents less than half of the homes in France.
The regulator estimates that fibre coverage will increase to 80% by 2022, but as the easier and more cost-effective deployment locations begin to run out, the final push into regions with troubling geography will be a major hurdle.
In December last year, the French government confirmed its target of 100% FTTH coverage by 2025, proposing a revised set of rules for local authorities applying for funds to set up regional fibre networks.
However, the €280 million funds that were made available for application were deemed insufficient, given that the country’s 25 departments have yet to make plans to begin a rollout of this scale.
Senators voted in favour of amending the 2020 budget to free up €322 million to help fund public network initiatives, but even this may not be enough; some senators suggest that the government needs to commit twice that much if they are to hit their ambitious target.
The revised rules announced in December were also criticised for reducing the scope of state funds to just 92% of premises. Following discontent from regional departments, the government has since revised their ruleset once again, now covering the full 100% as previously targeted.
France’s fibre rollout has been progressing at an impressive pace recently, but it will need to continue to accelerate if its going to achieve complete coverage.
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