ARCEP drafts recommendations to facilitate fibre to the home (FTTH) rollouts for small buildings in high density areas 

Paris, 15 November 2013

ARCEP is submitting a draft recommendation to public consultation on the modalities for accessing FTTH lines for small buildings of fewer than 12 residential or business premises in high density areas, and located outside the low-density pockets defined in the ARCEP recommendation of 14 June 2011 (1). This recommendation, which serves to complete the one issued in 2011, is meant to put the finishing touches to the existing regulatory framework and help accelerate the rate of deployment, by enabling coverage for all types of building, regardless of their size or location.

All buildings, whether individual or shared, are connected to FTTH networks under the same conditions, regardless of their size, in the largest section of France - in other words in the country's more sparsely populated areas and low-density pockets inside high-density areas. Together, these areas account for around 85% of households, or 28.5 million households in all (see table below for a recap of the different areas (2) defined by the FTTH regulatory framework).

On the other hand, in high-density areas (discounting low-density pockets), the terms of FTTH network sharing between operators depend on the size of the building:

- sharing can be confined to indoor portion of the building if it contains at least 12 residential or business premises, or is accessible via visitable sanitation networks (such as the sewers of Paris). Operators have already equipped a number of buildings using this scheme;
- for other buildings, which represent around 1.5 million premises, the concentration point must be located outside the private property. Very few such rollouts have been performed to date, due to a lack of standardised solutions between operators. The recommendation concerns these buildings.

The leading operators have expressed to ARCEP their desire to accelerate deployments, to achieve full coverage of the buildings located in high-density areas, and have specified their technical choices. As a result, ARCEP is proposing a recommendation (barring special cases) to install concentration points of 100 single-fibre lines for buildings containing fewer than 12 residential or business premises, which are located in high density areas and not in a low-density pocket. In addition, to optimise deployments and enable complete and consistent system coverage nationwide, ARCEP recommends introducing a system of prior consultation between stakeholders, including the interested local authorities. Among other things, this should make it possible to avoid unnecessary duplication of street cabinets, thanks to an increase in resource pooling for rollout schemes.

The public consultation on the ARCEP draft recommendation will run until 13 December 2013.

(1) The recommendation (in French) is available at:
(2) Estimates for household numbers take into account the draft decision that is currently in consultation, whose aim is to reduce the number of locations defined as high-density areas from 148 municipalities (or around 6 million households) to 107 municipalities (or around 5.5 million households). A PDF of this draft decision (in French) is available at:

Linked documents

The public consultation (pdf - 588 Ko) (in French only)