Challenges and benefits for businesses with the end of the copper network

Since the beginning of the year, nearly 80% of premises have benefited from fiber access. This technology is intended to replace the copper network, which is no longer sufficiently efficient to meet consumer needs. What are the challenges and benefits for businesses in the transition to fiber optics?

Progressive closure of the copper network

The copper network enables the French to access fixed telephony and the Internet (ADSL, SDLS, VDSL) via copper cables deployed throughout the country, regardless of their commercial operator. More than 50 years after its introduction, it is considered aging and less and less used. What's more, maintenance is particularly costly for the owner, who is finding it increasingly difficult to find spare parts and qualified technicians.

From this year onwards, the copper network will be gradually phased out as part of the government's drive to prioritize the rollout of optical fiber via the France Très Haut Débit plan, and to accelerate the adoption of fiber throughout the country. It is up to the network owner to decide and manage its closure. The operator has already published a closure plan extending to 2030.

Internet and telephony: is your company affected by the end of the copper network?

Businesses with ADSL or VDSL Internet access need to quickly take out a fiber subscription, the cost of which will be deducted from their business account. All ADSL lines are being migrated to alternative solutions (FTTH, FTTO, FTTE).

Those with traditional telephone access - analog lines or ISDN digital access for their switchboard - are also affected by the end of the copper network. Depending on their usage, their operator can offer them adapted solutions and services.

It's important to anticipate the transition to avoid unpleasant surprises, especially as operators are likely to be very busy as the shutdown approaches. To save time, it's a good idea to list all the lines potentially affected by the copper shutdown.

What's on offer for businesses wishing to benefit from fibre optics?

There are a number of reasons for deploying fiber optics throughout France. Firstly, fiber optics offer speeds in excess of 100 Mbps, providing better services than copper. Secondly, it consumes less energy: a subscriber consumes almost 4 times less kWh with optical fiber than with copper.

Companies wishing to benefit from the advantages of fiber optics can subscribe to a range of different offers. Consumer offers (FTTH) are aimed at small businesses and offer speeds of up to 100 Mbps. Business offers (FTTE) are suitable for most structures. They include dedicated business support and additional services compared with FTTH offers, such as guaranteed uptime. Dedicated offers (FTTO) are aimed at businesses with more important or specific needs. To find out which type of offer is right for them, businesses can ask their usual operator for advice.