The UFC-Que Choisir condemns the digital divide between urban and rural areas. The association analyzes 5 million 4G speed readings in all regions of France. 25% of 4G connections in France do not offer good conditions for Internet access. In rural areas, the figure is 32%. The average throughput is 40% lower there. And all operators are concerned except Free.
We reported in our columns yesterday that the digital divide is still strongly present in France, while the state and operators are making sure to invest heavily in connecting everyone to fixed and mobile broadband networks. An INSEE study explains that 7% of French people do not have an Internet connection, be it ADSL, fiber optic or smartphone. INSEE does not disclose whether these French people decide not to equip themselves or whether they are simply not eligible.
Read also – According to nPerf, Free offers the fastest broadband connection in France
The UFC-Que Choisir partially answers this question. The association confirms that there is a strong digital divide between rural and urban areas. He analyzes millions of debit statements made by users. And he relied on it to reveal which operator will offer the best mobile network in France in 2021. Orange is, not surprisingly, followed by SFR. Free and Bouygues Telecom share last place: sometimes the former is ahead of the latter, otherwise the opposite is true.
A quarter of 4G internet connections are of poor quality
In this study, we also learn that driver speeds can vary completely between two geographic areas. We expected there to be differences. But the numbers look an average of 40 percent between a 4G connection in an urban area and a 4G connection in a rural area. This is the average of all operators. The differences are different for each network. In Orange and SFR, the difference is on average 48%. He is at Bouygues Telecom 55%. And Free, a good surprise: the average in cities is lower than in rural areas.
UFC-Que Choisir adds in the press release that the percentage of bad 4G connections is still very high, even though the networks have been on the market for 10 years. 25% of connections do not reach 8 Mb / s speed, the government rated it as “good mobile broadband”. In rural areas, the figure is 32%. And 14.3% do not reach 3 Mb / s speedwhich the association considers a minimum so that the Internet can be enjoyed properly.
The digital divide is widening with 5G
This thus shows the existence of a digital divide in France. And 5G does not provide an answer to this problem. Operators also invest mainly in the most populated areas to make as many subscriptions as possible. And this is reflected in the level of stored speeds in urban areas, the average is 42.3 Mb / s to 234.1 Mb / s. That’s a multiplication of five. In rural areas, on the other hand, 5G is almost gone and the speed is only 50%. ” 5G really benefits areas where 4G is already the highest quality “The association says. Fracture, which is of course also in fiber optics.