very high speed ​​broadband program: France is struggling to connect all its municipalities

Compared to its European neighbors, France lags behind in access to high-speed broadband. With only 15% of households having broadband internet connection, France ranks 24th out of 28 in EU. How did this happen and what actions are under way to achieve the government's goal of having 100% of homes and businesses connected to broadband by 2022?

In 2015, there were still 238 French communes without mobile phone coverage and 2,200 communes without access to 3G or 4G. In these areas, digital technology can help access many services and revitalize territories. In its report of January 2017, Terra Nova details the benefits that these campaigns could derive from it: Telemedicine, collaborative economy in the service of tourism (AirBnB, car-pooling), relocation of companies and people taking up telecommuting positions in the first place.

Government authorities are determined to deploy high speed broadband in these ‘white areas’.

Very High Speed Broadband Program very slow to roll out

Launched in 2013 and jointly piloted by Ministries of Economy and of Town and Country Planning, this plan has a funding of 20 billion euros (6 to 7 billion euros by telecom operators and 13 to 14 billion euros by French government). The objective is to provide all French households and businesses access to high speed broadband by 2022. In urban areas, telecom operators work to provide broadband connectivity. In rural areas, where significant work is needed to unbundle the service, public authorities (communes, communities in communes, department, region, State & Europe) and telecom operators jointly invest in public initiative projects.

However, in the beginning of 2017, the Court of Auditors raised an alarm indicating a probable delay of about 8 years in the full deployment of broadband networks. Added to this is an overrun of 12 billion euros due to poor apprehension of the global budgets. The Court foresees the coverage of entire French population by 2030 and with a revised budget of 30 billion euros.

As operators have already started the work in dense urban areas, 50% of connected households will get this service in time. The delay will be in rural areas which are already penalized by the lack of access to internet and/or 3G/4G networks.

How sustainable is the future of Very High Speed ​​Broadband Program?

The progress of Very High Speed ​​Broadband Program is hampered due to lacking local employment. Operators tend to concentrate in big cities, both in maintenance of networks and commercialization. New territories are disconnected from the digital world or seem to be in the process of disconnecting. Which economic models or services will bridge the spatial digital divide?

Which are the least favored areas in France when it comes to digital economy?

The Terra Nova and Google think tanks met the bosses of small and medium-sized businesses operating in remote areas with minimal digital services. These are 3,576 communes, representing 1.2 million inhabitants and less than 25% of the working population here works in urban areas. In these villages, public services are scarce or absent and due to lack of employers in these areas, young graduates have to move to the nearest big cities. Digital coverage (radio, phone and internet) is often low, which makes it almost impossible for anyone to jump on the bandwagon, whether they are individuals or businesses.

More articles

  • big data and energy savings: new energy efficiency

    For around ten years, home automation products have been enabling individuals and companies to take control of their homes and offices. Lighting, heating, opening: everything is programmed and controlled remotely. This is definitely a long-term trend. EDF launching its new […]


    READ MORE
  • big data and smart farming : farmers are connected

    Managers, caregivers, operators, technicians and farmers are able to do 1000 things at once and that too often single-handedly. The contribution of technology in measuring and monitoring crops and animals has proved to be highly beneficial in producing more and […]


    READ MORE
  • the future factory and the big data

    Indeed, 96% of companies intend to use the internet of objects before 2018. The market for industrial software already represents 8 600 billion euros for an annual growth of more than 8%. Finally, “industry 4.0 concerns a large number of […]


    READ MORE
  • finance, banking and insurance: how big data is changing these sectors?

    Indeed the Knowledge of markets and time control are the keys to efficient asset management. The slightest geopolitical or commercial event can have immediate impacts on the markets and the price of a share. Also, the United Overseas Bank (UOB) […]


    READ MORE
  • research and big data, a virtuous circle of technical progress

    IDC estimates that the volume of the digital universe will double every year from 4400 billion gigabytes to 44 billion in 2020. It took 10 years to achieve the first sequencing of human DNA. Nowadays specialized companies are able to […]


    READ MORE
  • big data and health: mega data for personalized medicine

    Big Data and Health, a growing partnership However, key figures in that sector show that it is in full expansion: since 2010, 200 companies specializing in big data and health have been created, in the European Union, 5,5 billion Euros […]


    READ MORE
  • the internet of objects and big data, a winning pair

    It’s the extension of the network to objects via sensors. Transport, home automation, health or even insurance, many sectors have strong growth potential thanks to this technological innovation. In 2010, the number of mobile devices was estimated at 5 billion […]


    READ MORE