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France 2022: Prysmian optical fibre supports digital transformation

France 2022: Prysmian optical fibre supports digital transformation

Helping deploy countrywide next-generation access networks


France’s Plan France Très Haut Débit (French Very High-Speed Broadband Plan), launched in 2012, aims to bring fixed line connections of at least 30 mb/s to every home, business and government office in the country by 2022. A new target is to reach all of France, including rural areas, with FTTH by 2025. Currently, two thirds of French households, mainly in urban areas, have high-speed internet access.

This private - public cooperation is based on a 10-year, €20 bn investment shared by private service providers, local authorities and the Government. While private providers lay FTTH networks in metropolitan areas and departmental capitals, local authorities will provide connections in more remote areas. Since 2026, France’s broadband plan has specified that it is mandatory to install fibre in any new building, including single housing or working spaces.

“The entire sector is committed to reaching this goal” says Jean Pierre Bonicel, Senior Business Development Director at Prysmian and Former President of industry body Objectif Fibre.

“Between 2012 and 2016, the volume of fibre installed for private networks through private operators and Public Initiative Networks has grown fourfold, reaching 11 million km installed in France.”

Since the end of 2016, 50% of the country’s population has benefited from the ‘Plan THD’, which is one year ahead of schedule. In addition to the economic and social challenge of the new digital economy, the THD is also offering areas far from large cities the opportunity to participate fully in new forms of citizenship.

FTTH deployment is progressing strongly everywhere in France: 3.2 million premises could be connected to FTTH in 2018. This acceleration is mainly driven by private operator deployments, which made more than 2.5 million lines connectable. Local authorities made a strong contribution to this performance by building nearly 750,000 FTTH lines in 2018, a record for public initiative networks. To help expand fibre coverage to 80 percent of the country by the end of this year, the government has made an extra €150 million available from the ‘France Relance’ initiative, an economic programme set up in 2020 to help the country recover from Covid-19. 

Objectif Fibre

Objectif Fibre is the association representing France’s optical fibre industry. Founded in 2009, the organisation works closely with professional organizations and state institutions such as Agence du Numérique, Mission THD, ARCEP or CEREMA.

Objectif Fibre is committed to supporting installers and electricians, providing know-how required to install fibre. France’s optical fibre industries, professional Federations and governmental bodies have signed a framework agreement for developing skills and career paths (EDEC), with a focus on the installation and connection of fibre. No compulsory qualifications are required at present, but a number of operators have asked their sub-contractors to follow dedicated training. Objectif Fibre has certified  30 training centres capable of providing this.

Prysmian is currently the only manufacturer in France with the capacity to produce all the optical network components (fibre, optical cables, connectivity) at its own plants, in Douvrin, Calais and Chavanoz.

Prysmian Group’s FTTH cable technology solutions, such as G657 A2 and Flextube solution perfectly match FTTH network needs and associated mechanical constraints. G657 A2 fibre withstand very tight bend radii and has a particularly durable coating. Combined with Flextube, operators can expect high reliability and a long lifespan.

Plan France Très Haut Débit 

 

  • 2020: everyone should have access to good (>8 Mbit/s) or very high speed broadband
  • 2022: all territories should have state-of-the-art digital infrastructure giving everyone access to very high speed (>30 Mbit/s)
  • 2025: optical fibre should be available countrywide