According to a study conducted by the French telecoms regulator Arcep on 31 December 2005, around 592,000 France Télécom (FT) customers terminated their landline contracts with the incumbent in 2005 – a six-fold increase on the figure reported the previous year. Although the former monopoly held on to 34 million subscribers by the end of the year, the industry watchdog commented on a ‘real blossoming’ for alternative operators during the twelve month period, as users switched service provider for voice, internet and digital TV services. Arcep added that a further 2.23 million customers switched service provider for internet access and other services, but retained a fixed line contract with FT.
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