Paris, 10 December 2014
ARCEP held a public consultation from 15 July to 26 September 2014 on a draft symmetrical decision on operational processes for accessing superfast, fibre to the home (FttH) networks.
The Authority received nine responses to this first consultation and, after having taken them into consideration, made several adjustments to its draft decision.
This new draft decision is now being referred the Competition authority for opinion, while also being subject to a second public consultation.
ARCEP will then notify its decision to the European Commission and the competent NRAs from other European Member States. Once the decision has been adopted, it will be submitted for approval to the Minister responsible for electronic communications, before being published in the Journal officiel and put into effect.
Working to achieve national harmonisation to increase the chances of commercial success for fibre networks nationwide
The pace of shared optical local loop rollouts has increased considerably in recent months: 33% increase in eligible premises in one year, for a total 3,640,000 as 30 September 2014. Ultimately, tens of millions of premises are now eligible to subscribe to a superfast access service, and their numbers are increasing – and expected to continue to increase – by close to a million a year. The future development of optical fibre networks, and the successful sale of access products on a large scale will depend in particular on having wholesale and retail markets that are economically and technically homogenous nationwide. It is indeed important that retail market operators be able to offer a single plan nationwide by relying on standardised and liquid wholesale markets.
This homogeneity is not guaranteed, however, since, unlike with the copper local loop, a wide variety of public and private sector undertakings are involved in deploying optical local loops. The number of building operators recorded by ARCEP has increased from five at the end of 2007, including two public initiative networks (PIN), to 34 at the end of 2013, including 28 PIN – and set to increase under the Superfast broadband in France plan (France très haut débit). It is therefore essential that the wholesale market’s “industrialisation” continue apace with network rollouts.
This is why ARCEP continues to work within the existing symmetrical regulatory framework, on clarifying the pricing and operational aspects of accessing shared last mile connections, which apply to all operators and across the whole of France.
The public consultation will run until 20 January 2015.
Paris, 10 December 2014