the state of the internet in France in 2022

The Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications, Posts and Press Distribution (Arcep) has published the 2022 edition of its major survey on the state of the internet in France. This report has also been submitted to Parliament and provides an overview of the evolution of the various components of fixed and mobile internet networks. “The objective of this monitoring is to ensure, through regulation, that the Internet continues to develop as a “common good”, where the user is the arbiter of the last possibility”.remembers Arcep in the introduction of his study.

Mobile internet quality is improving

According to Arcep, the quality of mobile internet services is improving significantly for all operators, in all areas (rural, intermediate and dense). Download speeds on 2G, 3G and 4G thus reach an average of 71 Mbit/s, compared to 49 Mbit/s last year, a notable increase after the decline observed in 2020 due to the health context.

Evolution of mean discharge velocities by area. © Arcep

For its Internet inventory in 2022, Arcep reveals the quality of service analysis for a user with a plan and a 5G-compatible phone. “This is how the downstream and upstream velocities were measured. The indicator published here represents the average speed obtained with 5G compatible measurements across the country., specifies Arcep to explain the applied protocol. The objective: to measure the speeds a user can expect in their daily use, regardless of whether or not they have access to 5G.

The results show that Orange offers the best download speed, with an average of 142 Mbit/s across France. On the other hand, Orange 5G users in dense areas have an average of 227 Mbit/s. SFR comes in second, with 84 Mbit/s on average across France and 145 Mbit/s in dense areas, followed by Bouygues Telecom (71 Mbit/s on average, 130 Mbit/s in dense areas). Free is last at 31 Mbit/s on average, showing little nuance between dense areas and intermediate or rural areas (see front page image).

Data interconnection: traffic is increasingly driven by video streams

“Interconnection refers to the technical-economic relationship that is created between different players to connect and exchange mutual traffic. It guarantees the global mesh of the network and allows end users to communicate with each other”specifies Arcep.

Inbound and outbound internet traffic on the rise

The survey shows that incoming traffic to the 4 main Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in France on the interconnection fell from more than 28.4 Tbit/s at the end of 2020 to 35.6 Tbit/s at the end of 2021. Thus, the progress shown more than 25% in 1 year.

The evolution of inbound traffic in France. © Arcep

On the other hand, the outgoing traffic from the network of the 4 main ISPs in France in the interconnection reached more than 2.9 Tbit/s, marking an increase of 12.5% ​​compared to the end of 2020. Arcep thus notes that The degree of asymmetry that exists between these two types of traffic has increased from 1/4 in 2012 to more than 1/12 in 2021. This change is due to the increase in multimedia content consumed by customers, especially through video streaming and audio, or downloading large content.

The degree of asymmetry between incoming traffic and outgoing traffic is increasingly important. © Arcep

Netflix consumes most of the French traffic

The report reveals that 51% of the traffic for customers of the main ISPs in France comes from 5 providers: Netflix, Google, Akamai, Facebook and Amazon. “This shows an increasingly clear concentration of traffic among a small number of players whose position in the content market has strengthened”, underlines Arcep. Furthermore, the gap is widening between the traffic volume from Netflix, which will consume 20% of French internet traffic in 2021, and that of other content providers.

Netflix is ​​ahead of other providers in terms of traffic consumption in France. © Arcep

The transition to IPv6: an evolution to qualify

In France, the rate of use of IPv6 is increasing, reaching about 50% in November 2021. Thus, globally, France has moved from 10th place at the end of 2020 to 6th place in 2022 according to the average of the 4 main ones. publicly available data sources to estimate IPv6 usage (Google, Akamai, Facebook and Apnic 30). This significant development places France in 4th place at the European level, behind Belgium, Germany and Greece, in terms of IPv6 usage rate.

France shows a certain evolution in terms of IPv6 usage rate. © Arcep

However, this progress must be qualified, the rate of sites available on IPv6 is only 20% when we consider the 3.52 million websites in .fr, .re, .pm, .yt, .tf and .wf. Although this percentage has been increasing since 2015, the pace of this evolution seems unlikely to allow a complete migration in the coming years. In the same way, the switching of mail hosts is very delayed. Thus, only 7.4% of mail servers have switched to IPv6 in all .fr, .re, .pm, .yt, .tf and .wf.

The rate of IPv6-accessible mail reception remains low. © Arcep

IPv4 and IPv6, for Internet Protocol version 4 or version 6, are protocols used on the Internet to identify each terminal on the network (computer, phone, server, etc.). (…) IPv4 and IPv6 are not compatible: devices with only IPv4 addresses cannot communicate with devices with only IPv6 addresses. The transition is not made by replacing the IPv4 protocol with IPv6, but by adding IPv6 alongside IPv4, recalls Arcep.

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