ARCEP consults on FttDP

Paris, 7 February 2014

Fibre to the Distribution Point (FttDP) is a next generation network architecture where fibre is terminated very close to the customer's premises. Unlike Fibre to the Home (FttH) configuration, the existing copper or coaxial cable is reused to connect customer's premises to the fibre network. A network termination unit connects the fibre to the copper or coaxial line that delivers services to customers over the last few metres.

ARCEP, aware that the FttDP architecture raises a number of questions - particularly on the maturity of technical solutions and their compatibility with the French regulatory framework, set up a working group in order to launch a prospective discussion on this architecture.

This working group, composed of operators, local authority associations and the relevant government departments, has met on three occasions: first in June 2013 to hear the leading equipment manufacturers developing FttDP solutions, then in September 2013 and January 2014 to assess the potential interest of such a solution, and to discuss the possible scenarii for its deployment.

No conclusions regarding the interest and benefits of FttDP as a viable solution for the French market have been drawn yet, since additional work, especially field trials, still need to be carried out. The greatest consensus today is the possibility of deploying FttDP as part of an ongoing FttH rollout, to remedy transitory problems in installing the final metres of a fibre connection as they arise, rather than use it as a large-scale means of upgrading the copper local loop. From this prospect, FttDP could be a way to accelerate copper network users' migration to superfast optical fibre systems.

The document being submitted to public consultation today is a summary of the FttDP working group's discussions

ARCEP aims to give all stakeholders the ability to express their views on this topic, to provide feedback on the working group's conclusions and, if possible, to provide additional information.