Fiber: our guide to choosing the best operator or the best package
Comparison updated on 12/12 with the new fiber offerings available.
It has been years since we talk about optical fiber. If the beginnings have been difficult and the deployment to the least limited, the technology is now easier to access, especially in large cities. ARCEP today counts more than 7 million housing eligible for FTTH .
Under these conditions, many people are tempted to cancel their old ADSL subscription in favor of fiber optics. The key, downlink speeds up to 1 Gb / s, and more than 200 Mb amount, a "ping" under 10 ms for players who enjoy the passage of stability foolproof.
It makes you dream, but you are a little lost between different technologies and offers? Follow the guide, we read all the small lines to explain everything.
FTTH, FTTB, FTTLA, KESAKO
Since fiber is a significant selling point, operators quickly tried to use the term as soon as they offered very high speed subscriptions, even using copper. This was particularly the case of SFR / Numericable before an order comes to clear the debate.
Clearly, the only "true fiber" is the FFTH for "Fiber to the Home". That is to say that the fiber reaches the box of the subscriber, so the entire chain is fiber optic and this allows the network of the best quality possible.
There are then solutions using fiber, but not to the customer's home. This is the case of the FFTB, with a "B" for "building", where the fiber arrives in the building, but the co-owners are connected with copper. There is also the FFTLA (for Last Amplifier), the fiber reaches the block, the homes are connected in copper.
Note that this does not change much from the point of view of downstream flows, it is however more troublesome on the flow rates. SFR is currently capped at 60 Mb / s where FTTH operators are able to offer 200 Mb / s or more. You will understand, as far as possible it is better to opt for the FTTH if you are eligible.
Are you eligible?
The case of eligibility is complex, because it is done at two levels, first that of the municipality where the operator decides to settle, and then at the building level. Thus, it is not because your municipality is bundled that your building is .
To make things easier, operators all offer a simple test on their site to see if you can take advantage of the fiber. If not, two cases:
If your municipality / district is bundled but not your home : if you own an individual dwelling, just contact the operator so that he connects you to the nearest point. If you live in a building, you will have to go through the trustee and ask for the question to be on the agenda. It can take time. The selected operator then installs his fibers at the foot of the building.
The law requires it to provide a facility that is compatible with all operators. However, they are not forced to connect later. In a building connected by Free, Orange may be absent. In fact these cases are rare, but it may take some time before other operators enter the dance, especially as there is a period of "deficiency" of 3 months before the other operator arrive . Please note that generally the date of installation and the operator are indicated in the common areas of the building.
If your building is already bundled subscribe to the operator of your choice will start the process to connect you. A technician will come to your home to connect you and run the fiber in your apartment if necessary. Note that a law now requires all buildings whose construction began after September 1, 2016 to be pre-bundled.
Some promoters did not wait for the law to do so, If you live in a recent building it is possible that the cables are already drawn and equipped with a PTO (Point optical terminator) with at least two fibers for two operators. In the latter case, the work of the technician will be reduced to a minimum, the installation will take little more than an hour and will have the merit of being more aesthetic since the fibers were pulled in the partitions like the cables electric. Similarly, if you have just moved into an apartment or house where the fiber has already been installed by the previous occupant the process will be very simple.
How much does it cost
As most operators see fiber as a growth driver and a means of gaining subscribers, fiber installation is generally available when your building is already connected.
For individual houses, the operation being heavier, it is however billed in some cases : Orange as SFR require 149 euros for an underground connection and even 299 euros for an air connection ( understand by the roof). Bouygues, for its part, invoices since the requested cable length exceeds 10 meters at a rate of 49 euros per 10m. This can quickly be the case with a detached house.
If you have any doubts, do not hesitate to ask the operator you have chosen before committing yourself and find yourself with a much larger bill than expected.
How long does it take
Generally speaking, between the moment you subscribe and the moment when you can actually connect to the Internet, is a good two weeks not necessarily for technical reasons, but because that technicians are not always available; especially since the thing is usually outsourced. This is one of the specialties of the company Scopelec for example. Note that these periods are often extended around the month of September / October due to many accommodation (including students), especially in large cities.
That's when everything goes as planned. It can happen that the fibers are poorly routed, poorly welded at the base, etc. In short a lot of problems that can only be detected in the presence of a technician, who will leave without being able to do much. It will then be necessary to organize a new appointment once the problem is solved by the operator or between the operators if you do not subscribe to the one who bundled the building.
To avoid certain problems and especially to facilitate the resolution of the latter, you will still be recommended to favor the operator who installed fiber in your building. Things are usually simpler.
The offers we advise at each ISP
Our advice is current as of September 25, 2017. This selection will be updated if more interesting offers appear.
Bouygues Telecom offers two boxes: the "classic Sensation" and the Miami, more compact and running Android. We recommend it for its friendly interface and its features related to Android. Depending on your eligibility, you can go up to 1 Gb / s down and 250 Mb / s amount in FTTH.
For the choice of the offer, it will not be very complicated since Bouygues will offer you the best possible offer, fiber or not. Take the time to check, but know that in FFTLA, Bouygues promises 100 Mb / s, 200 Mb / s and 1 Gb / s in FTTH. The subscription is usually offered at 27.99 euros per month .
The additional costs:
- Hire of the box: 3 € / month, commitment 12 months
- Costs of setting in service: 59 euros
- Cancellation fee: 59 euros, refunded if equipment returned within 30 days. Under commitment: remaining monthly payments
See the offer
At Free, two box options are also available: the Freebox Mini 4K and the Freebox Revolution. If you do not have a 4K TV, it is the latter that we recommend, mainly because it is now proven and therefore significantly less prone to bugs.
Since October Free offers an "all inclusive" offer for 39.99 euros per month with the Freebox Revolution and Canal Panorama, which contrary to what the name suggests, does not give access to Canal +, but some additional channels, including those dedicated to youth such as Canal J, Disney XD or Cartoon Network. The list is available on the Free website.
As always with Free, the technology used evolves automatically as soon as a new, more powerful, is available. You always enjoy the best available flow.
The additional costs:
- Commissioning: 39.99 euros.
- Termination; 49 euros.
- Security deposit: 400 euros, only if payment is not made by direct debit.
At Orange, we can distinguish the basic fiber offer with the old Livebox (100 Mb / s symmetrical), what the firm calls Zen Fiber, and the other two called Play and Jet coming with the new Livebox (Livebox 4 ).
It is this "Play" mid-range offer that we recommend for the new Livebox, the TV recorder and its bit rate of 200 Mb / s downstream and 100 Mb / s amount. Note that unlike its competitors, Orange orange flow is a "Minimum" flow, this is one of the great benefits of Orange. On the other hand, the offer is more expensive than average with 44.99 euros monthly .
The additional costs:
- Rental of the box: 3 euros / month.
- Commissioning: 50 euros for TV (optional).
- Cancellation fee: 50 euros
See this offer
SFR / Numericable
As at Orange, we will set aside at SFR the entry-level offer, in favor of the Power with its downlink that can – depending on your eligibility – go up to 1 Gb / s down, and 100 Mb / s amount for 39.99 euros. Two options are available to you: the pack "Sports" which gives particular rights to BeIn Sport for 12 months (broadcasting the Champions League as a reminder), or the Pack "Cinema" with the new Altice Studio channel, which broadcasts series and films, on a model similar to OCS (Live TV + VOD).
The additional costs:
- Commitment: 12 months. Rent box: 5 euros / month.
- Start-up costs: 29 euros.
- Cancellation fee: 49 euros. If commitment still in progress: remaining installments.
See the offer "sports"
See the offer "cinema"
The best offer of fiber according to CNET France at December 12, 2017:
Once the set of offers analyzed, the best option Fiber of the moment is according to us the offer Play of Orange . Firstly for the quality of the proposed Fiber network, but also for its box and the flows guaranteed by the operator.
Subscribe to the Orange Play Quote
On the criterion of price, it is Bouygues Telecom which takes the advantage with a Bbox Miami offer efficient and debits which, if they are not guaranteed as at Orange, remain solid.
Subscribe to the BBox Miami Offer
Free does not come far behind, thanks to its Freebox which offers very complete features. Unfortunately the Freebox Revolution begins to age a little and it plays against it. That said, it should be renewed this year and make us change our minds.