Paris, 15 November 2010
The French Electronic communications and postal regulatory authority is making public the decision it issued concerning a complaint that the company France Telecom filed against Numéricâble (Numéricâble SAS and NC Numéricâble) on 7 July 2010, and which the Authority was called upon to settle, in accordance with Article L. 36-8 of the code governing postal and electronic communications markets in France.
Subject of the dispute
In those cities listed in the French cable rollout plan ("plan câble"), Numéricâble had upgraded a portion of its coaxial networks by deploying optical fibre cable using civil engineering ducts owned by France Telecom, in accordance with the terms of transfer agreements that it had signed with France Telecom in 1999, 2001 and 2004.
France Telecom considers that, because several operators have come to use its ducts to deploy their optical fibre networks since 2008, under the terms of its regulated civil engineering access offer, Numéricâble should be required to comply with the same operating modalities as all of the other operators.
Numéricâble considers that the changes that France Telecom has requested are unfair in that they would impose unjustified restrictions on the cable company, which would slow down its ability to upgrade its cable networks.
The operating modalities targeted by the complaint were defined by France Telecom to allow all of the other operators to be autonomous, to industrialise the optical fibre rollout process and to coordinate work in the field. This includes primarily operational processes governing and formalising exchanges between France Telecom and each operator, as concerns work performed in the field, reserving civil engineering ducts before any optical fibre rollouts are performed and, lastly, the creation of an exhaustive inventory of the work that has been carried out.
ARCEP has allowed most of the requests submitted by France Telecom, considering it fair that Numéricâble comply with these operating modalities which were designed specifically to ensure that all operators have shared and efficient access to France Telecom civil engineering, which therefore includes Numéricâble for its cable network upgrade operations.
The firms Numéricâble SAS and NC Numéricâble have two months to put the ARCEP decision into effect.
In practice, implementing the operating modalities requested by France Telecom will require Numéricâble to make a simple adjustment to existing processes. This will in no way call into question the rights that Numéricâble has acquired to access France Telecom civil engineering ducts in order to upgrade its networks.
The ARCEP's decision (pdf - 218 Ko) concerning the settlement of a dispute between France Telecom and Numéricâble. ( - in French only)