Arcep opens a consultation on a geographical adjustment of unbundling prices

Paris, 23 June 2016

Today Arcep is launching a public consultation on possible changes to copper pair pricing. This initiative is part of the 12 priorities that Arcep identified during its recent strategic review.

The transition from copper to superfast access

For several years now, the fixed access market has been undergoing a major technological transition, which has required sizeable investments in optical fibre. Arcep regulation provides a framework for new generation network rollouts and how they are shared by stakeholders, leaning in favour of a co-investment model. The aim today is to complete this regulation with incentives that will encourage users to switch from the legacy copper network to new superfast networks. Regulation governing the pricing of the copper network could be employed to this end, by adapting current price-setting methods, based on the premise of the gradual phasing out of the copper network. The purpose of the public consultation is to lay the groundwork for reviewing regulatory pricing methods, to obtain a robust, predictable and lasting framework to accompany the transition period between the legacy infrastructure and new networks.

Arcep seeks feedback on a geographical adjustment of unbundling prices

Much thought has already been given to the transition to optical fibre and the possible role that copper pair pricing might play: the Champsaur report in particular explores this issue. The document being published today for consultation is part of this reflection process, and proposes economic incentive schemes. In particular, Arcep sketches out a possible geographical adjustment to the recurring monthly price of the copper pair. Market stakeholders are invited to share their views on such a geographical adjustment, on the criteria used to define the areas where it would apply and on the future methods used to implement it in each of the areas. Arcep will be especially mindful to ensure that its work is in line with the Plan France Très Haut Débit (Superfast Broadband France programme).