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14.25 million broadband subscribers in France
Tuesday 04 September 2007 07:34:14 by Andrew Ferguson

France is often touted as been a long way ahead of the UK in terms of broadband, and with the continued rollout of the Free service which offers 100Mbps downloads for €29.99, this would seem to be true. Comparing the number of people buying a broadband service, the story is a bit different as the UK has 15 million broadband connections versus the 14.25 million of France.

TelecomPaper has the raw numbers, which lists France as having 13.55 million ADSL subscribers with over half of these on fully unbundled lines. The UK has around 11.5 million ADSL/ADSL2+ lines with the remaining 3.5 million connecting via a cable broadband network.

In the areas of France where Free is available, they are heavily marketing with a new offer that should see people getting 100Mbps download and 50Mbps upload connection speeds, unlimited calls to fixed lines in 49 countries, 100 TV channels and HD channels to two televisions for just €29.99 a month. The closest the UK gets would be a bundle of a 20Mbps connection from Virgin Media with their cable TV and phoneline.

So why are connections and TV so much cheaper in France? Most likely because the TV via a cable/fibre connection market is relatively new and there is a big rush to corner the market. The UK however has a relatively stable, well established, cable/satellite market. One other factor helping the French market was that unbundled connections started to occur in large volumes a year or two before consumer attractive deals appeared in the UK. In the UK it is easy to blame BT Group for perhaps stalling the take-up of unbundled connections, but conversely for a number of years no provider grabbed the bull by the horns and offered something compellingly different to other products available.

Comments

Posted by richiethom over 9 years ago
It's not only that, while the French have had satellite TV for ages, it's not been subsidised in the same way as in the UK (you have to pay the full price for the STB), and in addition, digital terrestrial has only just been launched (DVB and DAB in 2005, I think) and is not very widely available. All this has made a combined offering through ADSL much more appealing to punters than in the UK. Getting DVB in 1997, with hindsight, was not such a good idea.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Im saying nothing except once again the French get to laugh at the UK and the rubbish services we are provided with. I cant wait to see how much the so called cheap 21CN services here will cost, just to prove things here will never change.
Posted by FRS_Plunderer over 9 years ago
Did you even bother to read the article?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Indeed i did, put in simple terms it says france get faster speed and its cheap. Which bit of that did you miss?
Posted by rasczak over 9 years ago
Once again Carpetburn reads what he wants to and not the facts. Yes there are faster connections available in France but why is that. I know what your answer will be, but the truth is that no-one in the UK, that means the LLU providers as well as BT, can see how they will make a profit quickly. Maybe in France the LLU providers have looked long term unlike the LLU providers in the UK.
Posted by Balb0wa over 9 years ago
Smells of Rip Off Britain to me, this country used to be so good, now its so bad.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
[q]Once again Carpetburn reads what he wants to and not the facts. Yes there are faster connections available in France[/q]

Opps i think they call that a double negative.

Balb0wa has summed it up in real short but direct and acurate terminolgy.
Posted by rasczak over 9 years ago
Methinks Carpetburn needs some grammer lessons, and maybe maths as well, as he obviously doesn't actually know what a double negative is.
You read, incorrectly, that all of France gets faster than everywhere in UK, and cheaper. Facts are, some of France has faster connections available than most of the UK, and this is due to LLU providers willing to take a risk, which the UK ones aren't. I've said it before and I'll say it again, why not ask your LLU provider to supply FTTH to all of the UK if you want these services.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"You read, incorrectly, that all of France gets faster than everywhere in UK"
I think you need to read first before you allow your over eager fingers near a keyboard. NOWHERE did i say such a thing or hint at it. As for the 5 year old insults about Maths and "grammer" maybe i do need lessons but hey atleast i can actually spell the word "Grammar" which i think is what you meant with your pathetic attempt at an insult. Then again your tongue is alien to me so maybe you were giving a compliment.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"Once again Carpetburn reads what he wants to (NEGATIVE 1) and not the facts (NEGATIVE 2). Yes there are faster connections available in France (POSITIVE)"
Now read ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_negative
quote"Bishop Robert Lowth wrote A Short Introduction to English Grammar with Critical Notes in 1762" Yes thats Grammar with 2 letter "A's"
Maybe you have a case of Litotes?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Litotes
Posted by YaZiN over 9 years ago
Just move to France please!
Posted by FRS_Plunderer over 9 years ago
That won't help, if he moves to france he'll just get an even faster connection with which to spam these boards with.
Posted by rasczak over 9 years ago
So Carpetburn you are ignoring my question and picking up on a simple spelling error. That just shows that you do not want to have a reasonable discussion and just want to stick blindy to what you want to hear. There are none so blind as those who will not see.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"So Carpetburn you are ignoring my question and picking up on a simple spelling error."
Hey if you want to start with personal character insults im more than happy to dish the same in return. There is no point answering points you and certain others make as you dont seem to be able to make them without hurling snide personal insults and all because you disagree with a persons opinion. The day you understand that will be the day you learn to debate.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"That won't help, if he moves to france he'll just get an even faster connection with which to spam these boards with."
Better to make on topic points then stamp your feet like a child and insult people because you disagree with their point. If that is your definition of SPAM i can only assume you and rasczak had the same English teacher.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 9 years ago
Rasczak, are you aware of the price of a leased line? Because it's not in the region of 30 euros a month. Stop trolling.
Posted by plesbit over 9 years ago
Was reading recently that the average Frenchman earns about £21k and pays around 40% income tax whereas the average Brit earns around £25k and pays around 24% income tax. Carpetburn again fails to see there is a bigger picture. (more)
Posted by plesbit over 9 years ago
As I understand it the infrastructure in France owes a great deal to government grants and subsidies. I wonder how Carpetburn would feel if the government started handing out money hand over fit here to get faster broadband speeds and funded it by almost doubling income tax?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Erm our government already hands out money (hand over fist as you put it) to other large private industrys in this country like the so-called privatised railways. If they can do it for industrys like that and keep the income tax rate below that of france i dont see why they couldnt help with regards to broadband. Oh and if you want to use that argument.. Canada, and switzerland pay less personal income tax than us Brits yet they have faster broadband available in some areas... Care to explain that one?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 9 years ago
Since some are happy with faster broadband available in some areas of other countries, perhaps BT just needs to do FTTH for a small area to appease critics and ensure that this makes the headlines all the time
Posted by csimon over 9 years ago
Yes, yes, yes! That's *exactly* what's needed and what I've been trying to say for, ooh, a long time. Most people are in agreement that mega-speeds are not warranted in areas already well served, and that the only way the ignored areas are going to get anything is to pay for the upgrade themselves, it seems so logical to start rollout of FTTx in the ignored areas.
Posted by csimon over 9 years ago
It doesn't even have to be entire exchanges, just the cabinets where there are most problems. Critics of this scheme always talk about the immense cost of fibring up the qwhole country. Erm, hang on a minute, the *whole* country?? a. The already well-served areas don't need it b. As with ADSL roll out, the "whole" country doesn't actually mean that.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
I dont hold out much hope of BT ever going full out fibre or even partly. Some areas in the UK cant even get broadband down their old copper phone lines again thats in alot of cases because BT who own the exchanges fail to enable them. Any company that does want to enable has to bow to BT demands. BT fibring up part of the country or even enabling exchanges that are not enabled for ADSL would be a start if they want postive headlines.
Posted by adriandaz over 9 years ago
Also, what about the billions given away in aid to other countries? Surely the money would be better well spent here? It's a different issue I know, but I'm sure the ammount of aid given away in 1 year would be enough to ensure decent xDSL and FTTC/H rollout nationwide...
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 9 years ago
In response to Carpetburn:

"Some areas in the UK cant even get broadband down their old copper phone lines again thats in alot of cases because BT who own the exchanges fail to enable them. "

How large/small are these areas in terms of households? Are you saying that BT is refusing to enable lines on exchanges which have ADSL installed...any examples?

On the BT ever going fibre, I presume Ebbsfleet does not count, which is FTTH
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"How large/small are these areas in terms of households? Are you saying that BT is refusing to enable lines on exchanges which have ADSL installed...any examples?"
Well at this time samknows lists 195 exchanges not enabled for MAX but i know for a fact its more than that, there is one near me that isnt MAX enabled not on that list.

quote"On the BT ever going fibre, I presume Ebbsfleet does not count, which is FTTH"
NO it doesnt count because that AFAIK it was not COMPLETELY funded by BT or maybe im wrong but i thought that was a joint venture???
Posted by debiais over 9 years ago
The French service is rubbish no the UK, I lived there till recently, you are tied into a 12 month contract and to cancel you must do so by registered mail or pay for another 12 months. Speeds in rural areas are very poor and you must take the bundled telephone and or TV package. I don't consider £22/£24 cheap eiher.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"The French service is rubbish...."
I personally wouldnt call that poor, for a broadband, TV and phone service that price is resonable (NOTE i said resonable not cheap). 12 month contract alot still have here in the UK. And as for speed in rural areas i cant really comment on that as you didnt mention speed but when you consider some rural areas here cant have broadband and definately cant have cable tv it doesnt seem all bad to me.
Posted by FRS_Plunderer over 9 years ago
CARPETBURN on the subject of Ebbsfleet, this would be worth reading:

http://www.thamesgateway.gov.uk/index.html?rm=news&article=2&PHPSESSID=9ecce5e8000e9352dd7b4ae3c11cd626
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 9 years ago
Max is just the up to 8Mbps service, the 195 exchange hold 21 that offer a wireless service and all but 5 or 10 offer a 0.5Mbps service.

In Scotland every few months some Exchange Activate exchanges are getting upgrades to allow Max.

Does a consumer care who funds the FTTH as long as they get it. 1000 exchanges in France with no ADSL at all, and just 10 to 20 in the UK, which is worse?
Posted by csimon over 9 years ago
Exchange statistics are meaningless surely? It just looks good for BT to announce 99% of exchanges are "done"! UK & France have roughly the same pop'n. France has 13.5m ADSL, UK has 11.5m ADSL. Is demand higher in France or is it that UK has less availability? UK has 3.5m cable in limited areas, presumably this is what the Free service equates to?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 9 years ago
France has more ADSL users since there is not the same coverage of a non-ADSL service i.e. Virgin Media with their 3.5m cutomers

The non-ADSL i.e. FTTH appears to have around 0.7m customers.

If 1000 exchanges in France with no ADSL proves to be better UK ADSL coverage, which is 4 in South East and 3 in the East, the 21 with nothing in Scotland are Hebrides.net. With some effort could probably tell you how many lines that affects. The line length is likely to be similar in both countries, i.e. those too far to get anything
Posted by debiais over 9 years ago
Sorry for the typos in my last posting. My main point is the lack of technical support and cantractul problems with French ADSL suppliers. The French Government (in contrevention of the E.U.Law) still control the telecom services so most of the I.S.P's only offer Voip for telephone services. Burning ones boats comes to mind if you change to one of these suppliers.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
I wonder what the average, fastest and slowest speeds of service available are when comparing the UK to France, i imagine that would be interesting to know given the population is similar and line length is likely to be similar.
@debiais frankly that to me just makes france similar to the UK, no matter how you try to argue it BT here are as good as a monopoly also.
Posted by chrysalis over 9 years ago
The article is written with a touch of bias it assumes because we have more subscribers the uk is more advanced when really the 100mbit speeds and higher % of LLU in france indicates they are more advanced. We dont have a stable cable market its constantly changing ownership and looks to be changing ownership again. We are still thinking short term in that BT wish to have a quick profit return whilst simply maintaining current profits isnt enough for them to invest.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Very nicely and constructively put chrysalis :)
Posted by mikethemadmonk over 9 years ago
I live in rural France,there is virtually no choice and the service goes on and off like a light switch.How I long for my 4meg cable service with Ntl.It was unreliable but fast.240Kbs is the fastest download speed I have managed here.Where is the fibre cable telephone service that was promised?
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