Back in 2013, France launched a plan to implement fast internet connection for both urban and rural areas by 2025. However, will this be achieved?
Over the years, France has not had the best reputation for internet connection, especially in rural areas with low housing density. This has long been a bone of contention for those needing to conduct remote working in France from their rural properties, as well as a consideration for international property buyers.
It’s fair to say that the heightened demand for reliable connection has been accelerated by the pandemic. Many businesses in France have had no choice but to agree to remote working, which has, in turn, prompted workers in towns and cities to move to more rural areas. Those moving to France from abroad also want to know that they can easily keep in touch with loved ones back home, especially as travel to other countries is more difficult.
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What does the plan entail?
Plan France Très Haut Débit (French high-speed internet plan) was launched back in 2013 to provide everyone in France with high-speed internet by 2025. The main focus of this was to install fibre-optic cables across the country in order to increase internet speed.
This is financed by the state and has billions of euros worth of funding behind it.
Is the plan on track?
Two-thirds of households in France now have access to high-speed internet and the rate at which this is being rolled out is now far quicker than it was a few years ago.
However, it is evident that the rollout is still more prevalent in urban areas. Whilst the likes of Paris has more than 90% fibre-optic coverage, departments such as the Dordogne and Landes have less than 30%.
There has also been some concern about the number of complaints made about connection after the fibre optic cables have been installed. These are being addressed and were largely due to service providers sub-contracting the work to others, which has now been discouraged.
27 million households were able to connect via fibre optic by the end of last June. This is 66% of the government target for 80% of households to be able to connect by the end of 2022. However, it is still expected that 100% will be achieved by 2025.
Reducing ‘white spots’
Another initiative set up in November 2020 was to eradicate all ‘dead spots’ (known as zone blanche) in France, so all areas have some kind of internet access and mobile phone signal. These zones are being eradicated gradually and the goal is to achieve 4G coverage throughout France by the end of 2022.