How does optical fiber work?

Fiber optic deployment methods: FttH fiber or FTTLA and Fttdp fiber with cable termination
In the context of a fiber optic deployment , it is necessary to distinguish between the two kinds of fiber optic connections currently used by telecom operators. It is first of all the optical fiber FttH (or end to end), this one directly connects the housing with the fiber and is not divided between several housings.

The second type of optical fiber that exists is the fiber with a cable termination, the latter arrives at the bottom of a building or at the beginning of a street and then reaches the dwelling via a coaxial or copper cable (Fttdp), more rare. FTTLA fiber is not as powerful as FttH fiber but still achieves very good throughput. This network is developed by SFR and previously constituted a significant part of optical fiber connections in France but now FttH fiber is largely the majority: more than 10.3 million homes connected in FTTH against 1.1 for FTTLA fiber according to the ' Arcep Observatory of March 4, 2021.


To learn more about the differences between these different technologies, check out our guide to the differences between FttH, FTTLA and Fttdp fiber .


The deployment of optical fiber as part of the France Very High Speed ​​(THD) plan
The France Very High Speed ​​Plan was decided in February 2013 by the government, Arcep and the help of four operators: Orange, SFR , Bouygues Telecom and Free . It aims to cover the entire territory with Very High Speed (min speed of 30 Mbit / s) by 2022.


This THD development project is based on available technologies capable of reaching this speed: fiber with FTTLA coaxial termination , end-to-end fiber (FttH) , THD Radio. The total investment for this large-scale project is estimated at 20 billion euros over ten years and is mainly focused on fiber development as we have seen above. This sum is shared between the State, local authorities and private operators.

ARCEP regularly publishes figures showing the progress of very high speed in France, as well as a fiber optic card presenting the fiber coverage in a precise manner.


Progress of fiber optic deployment
Launched 8 years ago, the deployment of very high speed networks is progressing rapidly. According to the Arcep High and Very High Speed ​​Observatory , the total number of housing units eligible for very high speed broadband offers on March 4, 2021, represents more than 28.9 million housing units.

In addition, there is an increase in eligible dwellings on end-to-end fiber optic networks (FTTH). There are now 10.3 million FTTH subscriptions in the fourth quarter of 2020 and 14.6 million Very High Speed ​​subscribers (all technologies combined with a connection of over 30 Mbit / s).


However, according to a report of March 21, 2019, inequalities in the quality of internet connection continue to persist according to the French municipalities. Thus, if 34.8% of the population have a connection of more than 100 Mbps (optical fiber), 17.4% between 30 and 100 Mbps (VDSL, 4G, ...) and 28.6% between 8 and 30 Mbps (ADSL), there is still 9% between 3 and 8 Mbps (just enough to have television), 9.5% under 3 Mbps (too low to have TV) and 0.6% without broadband internet connection .

The Arcep fiber card showing the progress of the France Very High Speed ​​plan for each municipality can be found on cartefibre.arcep.fr.


For more information about: Fiber meaning