Paris, 28 July 2005
Competition on retail high-speed markets is growing thanks to two complementary wholesale access offers to France Telecom's network: unbundling and the regional offer (bitstream). The use of these two offers makes it possible for the incumbent's competitors to offer high-speed services across France.
In accordance with the obligations to which it is subject under the new framework following the high-speed market analysis conducted by ARCEP, France Telecom published yesterday a new version of its reference offer for unbundling, as well as an initial version of its reference offer for regional offers (bitstream).
These related fees, which France Telecom receives for hosting the equipment of operators in its local sites, may represent a barrier to entry on the smallest sites, and are one of the most important elements affecting the geographic extension of unbundling.
The decrease in the cost of these related services will be applicable as of 1st August; they are the result of work conducted over several months by ARCEP and France Telecom. There will be a 34% to 44% decrease in related costs per distribution frame, depending on the type of site, which, for example, would mean savings
- €1.00 on average, per access per month, for large, already unbundled sites, typically located in urban areas
- €2.50 per access per month for sites with 5 000 lines, typically serving towns with around 10 000 inhabitants
- €3.80 per access per month for sites with 3 000 lines, typically serving small towns with around 6 000 inhabitants
The "remote location" fee has also been reduced significantly.
This solution allows unbundling operators to use their own buildings to host their equipment, and to thereby optimise their technical, operational and economic independence with respect to France Telecom. It is particularly well suited to very small sites, where space may be insufficient to host operators' equipment. For example, under the old offer, an operator was required to pay €15 800 for a 20 m remote location cable. The fee is now €5 250, and €360 per year.
ARCEP is pleased with the price decrease for unbundling-related fees, as announced in the new reference offer. This decrease should facilitate the geographic extension of unbundling, to which ARCEP is committed, and improve the economic balance of both partial and full unbundling.
- Publication of an initial reference offer for broadband access offers delivered at the regional level (bitstream)
France Telecom also published yesterday its initial reference offer for wholesale broadband access offers delivered at the regional level (bitstream), in accordance with the obligations to which it is subject under the new framework [see ARCEP decision no. 05-0280 dated 19 May 2005].
ARCEP takes note in the reference offer of a price decrease, announced for the autumn 2005, in the regional offer for access and collection. These changes should help improve the economic conditions under which alternative operators propose their offers outside of unbundled areas. It should also encourage the development of competition in less densely populated areas and help maintain uniform retail offers across the country.
- Unbundling: related fees decrease by 34 to 44% per site