France will have 30MB/sec internet for all by 2022

Man with safety helmet working on telegraph pole from a cherry picker
Fibre optic cables can be fitted using existing telephone poles rather than having to be set in expensive trenches

Digital Agency head tells Connexion that President Macron's promise is going to happen

Speaking to The Connexion, Antoine Darodes – the director of France’s Digital Agency, L’Agence du Numérique – has said the government can fulfil its promise that every household and organisation will have a download speed of at least 30MB/sec by 2022.

The agency is in charge of bringing very high internet speeds to all of France (Plan France Très Haut Débit), in partnership with local councils, private internet operators and the EU.

Today, 53% already have access to THD, Très Haut Débit and by 2022, he said fibre will cover 80% of the country, with the remaining 20% getting their THD via alternative technologies.

Antoine Darodes
Antoine Darodes - director of the Agence du Numerique

He said the agency would, indeed, be able to fulfil a new promise from President Macron that all houses will have at least 8MB/sec by 2020.

Both agency and government were making huge efforts to put the programme into place and he said it would be possible because of new technologies coming in the next five years. These will benefit rural homes and businesses, who will miss out on the 30MB/sec from the Montée en Débit alternative technology that works by taking fibre optic cable to villages to boost the signal going to individual homes along existing telephone wires.

He said: “By the end of 2020, new satellites developed by the French Space Agency, the CNES, will be put into space which will vastly improve today’s satellite service.

“There will also be a new airwaves Long Term Evolution system, which is a form of 4G+ and we hope to develop 5G in some rural zones.

“We cannot guarantee prices will be the same for everyone, but the satellite system will no longer have a price limit on the amount of download available, as it does now.”

Mr Darodes added: “It is a real challenge, but we now have a very precise map of the existing internet coverage for the whole of the country and we hope to be able to give clear guidance to individual communes as to the service they can expect to have with a timeline in the near future.”

The August issue of Connexion, arriving with subscribers now and in papershops this weekend, has a full article on high-speed internet availability, mobile phone coverage and what to do to improve signal. You can buy a pdf copy online here for €4.20 (TTC)

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