ARCEP proposes adjustments to the boundaries between very and less densely populated areas for fibre to the home (FTTH) network rollouts

Paris, 21 October 2013

ARCEP is submitting to public consultation a draft decision that brings changes to the list of municipalities designated as very densely populated areas, to satisfy a dual regional development and competition objective. The Authority is proposing increased resource pooling in 42 municipalities - representing 525,000 households - that were originally listed as very high density areas. This change would enable the locations in question to benefit from increased FTTH network sharing, which would help improve both the appeal of performing rollouts in those areas and the prospects for a more competitive market, in terms of the services made available to local consumers and businesses. ARCEP is also proposing that one municipality be added to the list of very high density areas to take account of the scale of the rollouts that have already been performed there.

How we define "very high density area" for FTTH network rollouts

The general terms and conditions governing FTTH network sharing in the whole of France are defined in ARCEP Decision No. 2009-1106 of 22 December 2009. This decision also defines very high density areas as densely populated municipalities where infrastructure-based competition close to customer premises is possible. This is why the Economic Modernisation Act - or LME (loi de modernisation de l'économie) - of 2008 provides for an exception in these areas, and particularly depending on the size of the building being considered, to reduce infrastructure sharing schemes to only the indoor portion of the network. In the rest of France, the shared section of the FTTH network generally covers several neighbourhoods and, with certain exceptions, the concentration point serves a minimum one thousand households.

In 2009, in a bid to further clarify the regulatory provisions applied to FTTH network rollouts, and to stimulate pooled investment and deployments on a large scale, ARCEP employed a model using INSEE population and residential distribution data for every French municipality to draft the list of very high density areas.

Today, ARCEP is suggesting that experience and feedback collected since 2009 be taken into account and - as provided for in the 2009 decision - that adjustments be made to the list of areas designated as being densely populated. The aim is to obtain a more accurate picture of those locations where infrastructure-based competition exists by taking into account the current status of deployments, and the technical and financial terms and conditions governing operators' connection to new FTTH systems.

Proposed adjustments to very high density area boundaries

The draft decision that ARCEP is submitting to consultation thus proposes removing the most sparsely populated municipalities and those where FTTH rollouts have not yet begun from the list of very high density areas.

By the same token, the current status of rollouts is the reason why ARCEP is also proposing adding the city of Poitiers to the list of very high density areas. Significant rollouts had in fact occurred in Poitiers before the 2009 decision was issued, using an architecture that enabled network sharing close to the premises. By avoiding a long and costly network overhaul, this adjustment should make it easy to resume deployments in the area, while maintaining an appropriate level of competition.

The list of very high density areas will thus decrease from 148 municipalities (representing around 6 million households) to 107 municipalities (or around 5.5 million households). The list of the municipalities affected by the proposed amendment can be found in the appendix.

The ARCEP proposal takes into practical consideration the rollouts that operators have performed since 2009, to simplify the regulatory framework and help accelerate these deployments. The public consultation on the Authority's decision will run until 18 November 2013.

Lastly, with a view to achieving these same regional development and competition objectives, ARCEP will be submitting a draft recommendation to public consultation before the end of the year, which will specify the regulatory provisions that apply to small buildings (fewer than 12 residential or business premises) located in very high density areas.

ARCEP thus intends for today's draft decision and the forthcoming draft recommendation to complete the regulatory framework and help step up the pace of FTTH network rollouts that are already underway.

- Appendix -
List of municipalities in very high density areas affected by the proposed amendment

INSEE INSEE Households (INSEE 2007)
Beaulieu-sur-Mer 06011 3 294
Cagnes-sur-Mer 06027 29 193
Mandelieu-la-Napoule 06079 19 092
Saint-Laurent-du-Var 06123 16 444
La Riche 37195 5 325
Saint-Martin-d'Hères 38421 15 122
Vandœuvre-lès-Nancy 54547 15 659
Roubaix 59512 39 458
Tourcoing 59599 38 169
Écully 69081 7 643
Saint-Fons 69199 6 991
Vaulx-en-Velin 69256 15 325
Rillieux-la-Pape 69286 11 827
Canteleu 76157 6 394
Le Grand-Quevilly 76322 12 257
Le Mée-sur-Seine 77285 8 254
Élancourt 78208 10 715
Fontenay-le-Fleury 78242 5 828
Guyancourt 78297 10 823
Marly-le-Roi 78372 7 693
Rocquencourt 78524 1 641
Vélizy-Villacoublay 78640 8 866
Saint-Mandrier-sur-Mer 83153 5 020
Épinay-sous-Sénart 91215 4 774
Grigny 91286 9 874
Ris-Orangis 91521 11 063
Le Blanc-Mesnil 93007 19 001
La Courneuve 93027 13 627
Épinay-sur-Seine 93031 20 049
L'Île-Saint-Denis 93039 2 918
Livry-Gargan 93046 18 163
Villemomble 93077 12 473
Villetaneuse 93079 4 188
Boissy-Saint-Léger 94004 6 213
Bonneuil-sur-Marne 94011 6 541
Chennevières-sur-Marne 94019 7 670
Fresnes 94034 9 882
Thiais 94073 12 128
Villeneuve-le-Roi 94077 7 895
Vitry-sur-Seine 94081 34 353
Franconville 95252 14 320
Saint-Gratien 95555 9 337
Total (à retirer) 42 communes 525 498

Poitiers (à ajouter)


86194 47 825
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Linked documents

The public consultation (pdf - 119 Ko) (pdf - in French only)