ARCEP submits to consultation a draft recommendation on implementing an obligation of completeness for fibre rollouts 

Paris, 29 June 2015

The so-called obligation of completeness seeks to ensure consistent fibre-to-the-home rollouts and homogenous coverage in the areas where this technology is available. The issue was raised in the report that Paul Champsaur submitted to the Minister for the Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs and to the Secretary of State for Digital Affairs, upon completion of an assignment on the transition to superfast networks and phasing out the legacy copper system. The report - which stresses that complete and comprehensive rollouts should be a prerequisite to obtaining the status of "fibre area" (zone fibre), and occur prior to introducing any associated incentives for making the transition to superfast broadband - also points out that too strict an application of the completeness rule is likely to dampen stakeholders' rollout ambitions in sparsely populated areas.

At a time when deployments are accelerating in more rural parts of France, and given the flexibility needed to bring any rollout project to completion, whether initiated by a private or public sector entity, ARCEP believes it useful to provide a more detailed interpretation of the "completeness" rule. These details will make it possible to apply the terms for putting this rule into effect in a consistent and equal fashion nationwide.

The aim is to provide all operators involved in fibre network rollouts, along with their co-investors, with the clarity they need to engage in economically viable, consistent and homogenous deployments in all of France's more rural areas.

The draft recommendation includes the terms and conditions that ARCEP has in mind for implementing the obligation of completeness in sparsely populated areas, to take into account the specific nature of deploying and marketing optical fibre access in these areas, and to guarantee the efficiency of the rollouts performed there.

ARCEP has taken into consideration the best practices employed by certain rollout projects in rural areas.

All stakeholders are invited to share their comments on the elements contained in the draft recommendation.

The public consultation will run until 18 September 2015.

Linked documents

The public consultation (pdf - 876 Ko) (pdf - in French only)