Optical fiber: the 2023 list of operators

Estimated read time 3 min read

Optical fiber: the 2023 list of operators

Which operator offers the best internet offer? To find out, the comparative site ZoneADSL continuously conducts measurements throughout the territory. More than 3 million flow tests were thus carried out in 2022. Field data that it combines with public data from Arcep, the telecoms sector supervisory authority, or the National Frequency Agency (ANFR).

Taking into account three key indicators – coverage, throughput (up and down) and outage rate – ZoneADSL has arrived at the next ranking. Winner without dispute, Orange comes first in all three categories. The incumbent operator offers fiber to 73% of the 24 million homes in France. It also offers the highest download speeds (408 Mbit/s) and upload (353 Mbit/s). As in 2022, Orange is, finally, the operator that registers the fewest reports for network incidents. That is 82,000 on the ZoneADSL website which claims six million annual visitors.

Behind Orange, Free is a good second by displaying a high coverage rate and speeds. The number of reported network outages (243,000), however, drops its average. Neck and neck, Bouygues Telecom and SFR have a similar coverage rate (67%) and substantially equivalent speeds, but the latter is penalized by a record number of reports (280,000).

If 83% of the dwellings have been connected to fiber in metropolitan France, ZoneADSL finds strong territorial disparities. The departments best covered concern both high-density urban areas and deserted rural areas with, at the top of the list, Oise (97.6%), Paris (97.2%), Corrèze (96.9%), Aisne (96.5%) and Sarthe (96.1%).

The comparator then took an interest in the rates charged by these same operators. What is the impact of inflation? While the increase in consumer prices is expected to be 5% in 2023 according to Insee, ZoneADSL has noted a general increase in internet box prices of 3.5%.

The end of low-cost boxes?

With very different pricing strategies. SFR is thus the only operator that has reduced the cost of its subscriptions (- 3%). It is also he who, through his low cost brand RED by SFR, shows the highest increase (+ 21.7%). Bouygues Telecom (+4.1%), Orange (+3.6%) and its affiliated brand Sosh (+3.6%) showed more moderate increases. For its part, Free has kept its promise to freeze its tariffs until 2027.

In general, the comparative study notes that operators have mainly increased the prices of their entry-level boxes (+ 5%) of the Bbox Fit, SFR Starter or Orange Livebox type, while the prices of the most expensive offers have finally remained almost unchanged (+ 0.5%).

Finally, who is the most expensive? The list of operators according to the tariffs charged gives the same order of arrival as the previous ranking on the quality of the network. With an average monthly price of its boxes of 46.4 euros, Orange is the most expensive, ahead of Free (42 euros), Bouygues Telecom (38.6 euros) and SFR (38.3 euros). From there, to make a correlation between price and quality ….

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