Optical fibre

Optical Fibre and 4G

Progress report on fixed and mobile connectivity in France: three Arcep publications to coincide with the Prime Minister’s trip to the Gers.


To coincide with the Prime Minster’s trip to Mirande, in the Gers, Arcep is providing updates on the work it is doing in several key areas to further fixed and mobile connectivity across the whole of France, and improve the information available to citizens and elected officials:

- Arcep is publishing the first opinion it submitted to the Government regarding calls for expressions of interest for local projects (AMEL) announced in Cahors in December 2017.

- Arcep’s “Carte Fibre” map-based tool now includes information on optical fibre network rollout forecasts.

- “Mon réseau mobile” (My mobile network) and the New Deal for Mobile Scorecard data have been updated.

  • Calls for expressions of interest for local projects (AMEL): Arcep submits its first opinion to the Government on a private operator’s proposed commitments in the Côte-d’Or department

Today Arcep is publishing the opinion it submitted in response to a request from the Government, in accordance with Article L. 33-13 of the French Postal and Electronic Communications Code (CPCE). This article gives the Minister the power to accept voluntary rollout commitments from operators, and to make them legally binding – after having obtained Arcep’s opinion. Arcep is then responsible for ensuring operators’ compliance with these commitments.

The Government requested Arcep’s opinion on proposed commitments from the company Altitude Infrastructure THD to provide Fibre to the Home (FttH) access in the portion of the Côte-d’Or department that has been designated as eligible for public-initiative network coverage, but will not be covered by the public-initiative network deployed by the Department itself, under the Plan France Très Haut Débit superfast broadband programme.

This is the first time that Arcep has been asked to deliver an opinion on the commitments made for areas targeted by calls for expressions of interest for local projects (AMEL). This AMEL scheme, which the Government launched in late 2017, allows local authorities to select a private operator that makes a commitment to the Government to deploy an FttH network in all or a portion of the local authority’s territory, to complement rollouts performed by other operators, through either private or public initiative.

Arcep expressed a positive opinion on the proposed commitments from Altitude Infrastructure THD, which would result in 100% of the premises in the area in question being made FttH-ready or ready to be “passed on-request” by the end of 2022, with fewer than 4% of premises to be passed only “on-request”.

In its proposal, Altitude Infrastructure THD considered it necessary to include special treatment for a small percentage of the lines whose rollout cost is significantly higher than the other lines’ (in hard to reach, sparsely populated areas). These premises will therefore be “passed on request” – in other words they must be made FttH-ready within six months of receiving the request and, in this instance, once the special cost-based fee has been paid.

Arcep concluded that the specific features of the areas covered by certain AMEL can justify the possibility of treating certain very costly lines separately, especially when the overall proposal enables virtually all of the premises to have access at the same wholesale prices as those charged in the rest of the country, where it would have been otherwise impossible to do so.

Should the Minister accept the proposed commitments, Arcep will be very careful to ensure that they are achieved.

  • Arcep adds even more features to its “Carte Fibre” map-based site that allows users to view not only completed fibre rollouts, but upcoming ones as well

Arcep created a site for citizens and elected officials called cartefibre.arcep.fr. It is an interactive map-based tool that depicts the availability and speed of fibre access on different scales: by department and by municipality, and right down to the building-by-building level. It allows users to track the progress of FttH rollouts, and for public authorities to monitor the progress that operators are making on their rollout commitments in those parts of the country where the Government has issued a call for investment letters of intent (called “zones AMII” in French), and in areas targeted by calls for expressions of interest for local projects (“zones AMEL”).

The “Carte fibre” map now has the added feature of providing forward-looking information on rollouts that have been scheduled but have not yet begun – based on information that Arcep has collected from operators, from local authorities in charge of public-initiative network rollout projects, and from France’s Digital Agency. Citizens and elected officials can now obtain information on the timeline for future optical fibre rollouts in the municipality where they live or work.

The site will be enhanced and updated periodically, as information is received from project owners. At the same time, Arcep is working on a tool for providing detailed information on fixed network coverage for all technologies combined, on an individual address level.

  • Arcep updates the data in its New Deal for Mobile and “Mon réseau mobile” data-driven regulation tools

In January 2018, Arcep and the French Government announced operators’ commitments for accelerating the pace of regional mobile coverage. These commitments were written into the terms of operators’ frequency licences in July 2018, to make them legally binding and transform them into obligations. In addition, on 15 November 2018 Arcep adopted a decision on the results of the frequency allocation procedure for the 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2.1 GHz bands, along with four decisions on frequency allocations to Bouygues Telecom, Free Mobile, Orange and SFR.

The New Deal for Mobile scorecard, which is updated on a quarterly basis, is designed to provide a progress report on mobile operators’ compliance with their new obligations.

“Mon réseau mobile” (My mobile network) is an interactive map-based tool that allows users to compare mobile operators in Metropolitan France, as well as in Guadeloupe, Guiana, Martinique, Mayotte and Réunion. It includes:

  • Operators’ coverage maps, produced based digital simulations – and verified by Arcep in the field – which provide information on a service’s availability;
  • Mobile quality of service measurements, which reflect the actual quality of users’ experience.

On 22 March, Arcep updated the data supplied by these two instruments, which now provide the most recently available information: as of 31 December 2018. The New Deal for Mobile scorecard now contains Q4 2018 data on 4G availability. A new feature: indicators on fixed 4G and indoor coverage for businesses are now included.

All of the published data are also available as open data files, to allow them to be reused by local authorities, citizens and businesses.

Associated documents