The IFER tax is extended to fiber and coaxial cable
The extension of the flat-rate tax on network businesses (IFER) to broadband and high-speed networks in now a reality.

Article 49 of law n°2017-1775 of 28 December 2017 of the Amending Finance Law 2017 amends article 1599 quater B of general tax Code and extends the IFER tax to fibre optic and coaxial cable whereas for the time being it only applies to copper lines.

When this new provision becomes effective, broadband and high-speed lines will be taxed €11.61 per line.

This extension mainly aims at preventing the massive decrease of the tax revenues as users move to broadband access.

Although the Government prides itself on its incentive policy for operators' investments in FTTH networks, this new tax on cable and fibre has prompted vivid reactions from telecom operators and especially from SFR, mainly impacted by this new tax contribution due to its ownership of numerous coaxial cable lines.

Operators have particularly criticized some adverse effects that could possibly result from this tax extension, such as:

  • disincentive effect on fibre optic deployment, resulting from the decrease of return on investment;
  • increase in the cost of preexisting lines and the ones deployed afterwards;
  • risk of passing on costs to users and
  • risk of increasing digital divide.

In order to ease tensions, this tax will only be applied as of 1 January 2019 and the new lines will be exempted for the first five years following their construction.

Autres news