Paris, 7 August 2015
Following the responses received to the two public consultations, and after having consulted with the French Competition Authority, the European Commission and the Electronic communications advisory committee (Commission consultative des communications électroniques), ARCEP is adopting a decision on the operational processes for sharing optical fibre ultra-fast electronic communications networks.
This decision has been approved by Axelle LEMAIRE, France's Minister responsible for electronic communications, and was published in the Journal Officiel de la République Française on 5 August 2015.
Harmonisation is key to the commercial success of fibre products
The pace of fibre network rollouts has accelerated over the past several quarters, resulting in a 39% increase in the number of premises eligible to subscribe to a fibre plan, with 4.4 million homes passed as of 31 March 2015. The rate of deployment, which currently stands at more than a million new homes a year, is due to increase in the coming months and years, and tens of millions of homes and businesses in France will eventually have access to a fibre-based plan.
The commercial success of these fibre plans will hinge in large part on ISPs' ability to market the same products nationwide. Unlike with the copper local loop, however, a great many stakeholders from both the public and private sector are involved in fibre network rollouts. For the market to thrive, it is therefore crucial that the terms and conditions for accessing these fibre networks be the same across the country.
Progressive implementation of the decision
To assist operators in adopting the provisions contained in the decision, ARCEP plans on implementing them in stages. On the one hand, their adoption will be staggered according to their respective impact. On the other hand, the decision stipulates that all of the affected operators will be monitored, and will be required to submit a progress report to ARCEP upon each deadline.
> The approved decision (pdf - 0.97 Mo) (in French)