ARCEP begins the review process for its analysis of fixed telephony relevant markets, for 2014 to 2017

Paris, 21 February 2014

ARCEP is kicking off a new round of analysis for fixed telephony markets with the launch of a public consultation. This consultation, concerns a draft decision along with a document that provides a scorecard for the current round of market regulation, and the regulatory outlook for period to come.

Fixed call termination markets are, meanwhile, addressed separately, in a joint analysis of fixed voice, mobile voice and SMS call termination markets.

As in its previous analyses, ARCEP has concluded that operator Orange has significant power (SMP) in each of the markets covered by the decision. The Authority thus considers it necessary to maintain ex ante regulation of these markets. The analysis nevertheless reveals that developments observed in certain markets during this period justify streamlining the regulatory methods and the wholesale products imposed on Orange.

In particular, ARCEP is suggesting a process of gradual phasing out (with an overall four-year notice period) of straight carrier selection offers. This process involves switching the affected operators and customers over to the VGAST wholesale line rental solution, which is the unified modality of Orange's mainly telephone wholesale supply.

Moreover, in accordance with the plans laid out in its 2011 decision, ARCEP intends to lift the asymmetrical regulation imposed on Orange for its call origination services for calls to value-added service (VAS) numbers. This completes the transition process begun during the current round of analysis, whose ultimate aim is to rely solely on the symmetrical framework established by Decision No. 2007-0213 to guarantee effective competition in this market.

ARCEP is also proposing the definitive withdrawal of the flat rate interconnection scheme for narrowband internet access, referred to as IFI, which has been imposed on Orange since 2005 but not used by a single alternative operator since mid-2012.

Finally, ARCEP would like to seize the opportunity provided by this new round of market analysis to invite the sector's stakeholders to contribute to the discussions over the pricing conditions applied to the supply of the VGAST wholesale line rental offer, for the medium term, and over the opportunity to extend native IP interconnection, which is currently used to deliver traffic to the Orange IP local loop, to all types of traffic (both call termination and origination), as well as a schedule for such an extension.

Once this first consultation is complete, a revised draft decision will be submitted to the sector in April for a second round of consultation.

This consultation will run until 21 March 2014.