ARCEP welcomes the European Commission's adoption of regulation concerning access to new generation networks, the majority of which employ optical fibre.

Paris, 21 September 2010

The text adopted by the European Commission plans for a regulatory framework for newly deployed networks that achieves a balance between encouraging operators to make sizeable investments in their rollouts, and guaranteeing open and non-discriminatory access to competing operators.

The regulatory framework that ARCEP established for optical fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network rollouts is entirely in keeping with the principles established here by the European Commission, and which the Authority had anticipated. Indeed, while ARCEP Decision No. 2009-1106 of 22 December 2009 concerns the country's high density areas, the draft decision on more sparsely populated areas, which is in the process of being adopted, is aimed at providing the various operators and local authorities with a framework that will help sustain the strong competitive dynamic that characterises France's broadband market, while not depriving these players of any potential profits. This framework also provides for a system of network sharing (particularly in lower density areas) to guarantee that the maximum number of users will have access to an optical fibre connection.

This European Commission recommendation helps to clarify the new regulatory framework that will govern fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) rollouts, and so provides operators with the predictability and legal certainty they need to be able to make their investment decisions.