businesses are converting to fiber

If individuals generally favor fiber and do not hesitate to part with their old ADSL connection as soon as they have the opportunity, companies are not left out. According to an Ifop survey for InfraNum, the federation of fiber manufacturers, and the infrastructure operator Covage, 55% of companies have now adopted this technology. A sharply accelerating equipment rate, since it was only 37% in 2021, and 23% in 2019.

There are, however, strong disparities according to the size of the companies. The larger the company, the more fiber is popular. Thus, 74% of companies with 50 to 249 employees are connected, compared to 49% of small structures with 1 to 5 employees. Significant differences also appear depending on location. In urban municipalities in the regions, 59% of companies have fiber, compared to only 36% in rural municipalities. In Ile-de-France, 70% of companies have this technology. It should also be noted that urban areas are almost entirely fibred. This is not yet the case for many rural municipalities.

Fiber, a way to shake up the market

We can therefore wonder whether the Covid-19 crisis has accelerated the conversion of companies to fiber. Intuitively, one might think so, given the rise of certain particularly bandwidth-intensive uses, such as teleworking. But the Ifop study is measured on this point. The impact of the health crisis is actually proving ” limit “, specifies the institute. With the exception of large companies, which have generally taken advantage of the pandemic to give a big boost to their digital projects.

Ifop also points out that the transition from ADSL, on the copper network, to fiber is an opportunity to reshuffle the cards on the professional telecom market. This is, according to the institute, “the opportunity for a return to competition”, in a sector largely dominated by Orange, and to a lesser extent by SFR. According to its survey, some 43% of companies plan to change operator when migrating to fiber. However, the sector is not expecting a revolution… Indeed, “10% of companies” really intend to change operator in the next twelve months. Which is little.

A “base of refractories”

Among the companies that are not yet connected, 59% of them plan to do so within three years. But there remains an important “base of refractories”, in the words of Ifop, for whom the benefits of this technology are not obvious. These companies mention the cost generated by a change of offer, or questions about their eligibility for this technology.

Most companies that intend to choose fiber claim to be moving towards professional offers. These are admittedly more expensive than the mainstream offerings. But they have in particular a “guaranteed recovery time”, or “intervention”, of a few hours in the event of a breakdown.

SMEs still little digitized

The government, for its part, continues to push companies to adopt fiber, perceived as a lever of choice to boost their digitization. On this front, French VSEs and SMEs are still lagging far behind on a European scale. Unlike large groups, which have been devoting significant resources to it for years.