ARCEP notifies a draft decision on the operational processes for accessing fibre-based superfast networks to the European Commission

Paris, 22 May 2015

ARCEP submitted its draft decision on operational processes for accessing fibre-based superfast electronic communications networks to a second consultation, which ran from 10 December 2014 to 20 January 2015. The Authority received seven responses to this second public consultation. At the same time, the draft text was sent to France's Competition authority for its opinion.

Having taken the comments from stakeholders and the Competition authority's opinion into account, ARCEP made several adjustments to its draft decision.

Today, ARCEP is notifying this amended draft decision to the European Commission, and to the competent authorities in the other EU Member States. In addition, as this is a "symmetrical" decision, i.e. applying equally to all market players involved in fibre network rollouts, the Authority will submit its decision for approval to the minister responsible for electronic communications, before it is published and comes into force.

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: 37% increase in eligible premises in one year, for a total 4,064,000 as of 31 December 2014. Tens of millions of premises are now eligible to subscribe to a superfast access service. Their numbers today are increasing by close to a million a year, and expected to continue to increase and an even greater pace in the years to come.

The future success of fibre will depend on ISPs' ability to sell homogenous products nationwide. Unlike with the copper local loop, however, a wide variety of public and private sector undertakings are involved in deploying optical local loops. It is therefore essential that the terms and conditions for accessing fibre networks be homogenous, to enable the market's "industrialisation".

Linked documents

Draft decision notified to the European Commission (pdf - 0.97 Mo) (in French)

Responses received to the second public consultation (zip - 2.04 Mo) (in French)

French Competition authority's opinion (in French)