Paris, 23 May 2001
Autorité de régulation des télécommunications (ART) today launched a call for comments on the conditions of extending call-by-call carrier selection and pre-selection to local calls. The introduction of such an extension is planned for late 2001.
This call for comments addresses the technical, financial and operational conditions foreseen by ART for introducing the extension of the scope of services provided under these two mechanisms. It contains several proposals based on work led by ART in a group created for this purpose which brings together all interested operators.
These proposals relate to the following questions:
1. the joint introduction of selection for local calls under call-by-call carrier selection and preselection mechanisms ;
2. contractual relations with final customers when introducing these new services ;
3. ordering / delivering procedures among operators ;
4. timescale of introduction :
5. the number of operators any given customer will be able to pre-select ;
6. the cost and tariffs of related interconnection services.
ART seeks comments on the conditions of transporter selection from all players concerned by this major development, which has been awaited by both operators and consumers alike.
In particular, it wishes to extend the framework of the dialogue carried out up to now in a privileged way with operators, in particular by involving users and consumers’ associations, in order to receive their input for the decision ART will have to take in the near future on this subject.
This call for comments will be held over a period of three weeks: interested parties may send their comments to ART until Wednesday 13 June 2001.
The comments will be used to prepare a draft, which will be submitted to the Commission Consultative des Réseaux et Services de Télécommunications (advisory body for telecommunication networks and services) and to the Comité de l’interconnexion (interconnection advisory committee).
* The mechanisms of carrier selection, whether on a call-by-call basis or by pre-selection, make it possible to route all long distance, international and fixed-to-mobile calls via other operators than France Telecom .
However, these mechanisms still do not include local calls to subscribers located within the same pre-defined geographic area, called the local exchange.
This sorting method was introduced in 1997 when the call-by-call carrier selection mechanism was implemented. At the time, players considered that the initial state of development of networks competing with France Telecom did not permit them to collect local calls under economically viable conditions. Therefore, they requested, for this initial phase in the development of competition, a mechanism excluding local calls from the scope of services which could be selected by competing carriers.
The definition of the local exchanges is given in ART decision no. 97-345 dated 17 October 1997 and approved by an order of the Minister of Telecommunications dated 12 December 1997.
They correspond to the administrative area of départements except for Ile-de-France and Corsica.
In Ile-de-France, the local exchanges are:
In Corsica, the local exchange is composed of Haute-Corse and Corse-du-Sud.
* Pre-selection is a carrier selection mechanism which allows simple and transparent user access to telephone services provided by transport operators other than the local loop operator.
This mechanism allows users to pre-select an operator to route their long distance, international and fixed-to-mobile calls.
Under these conditions, the ten-digit numbers beginning with 0 and covered by one of these categories of calls are transferred by the local loop operator to the pre-selected transport operator. However, the call-by-call carrier selection mechanisms continue to function and allow users to suspend, or "override", their pre-selections by dialling a prefix of one or four digit ("E" or "16XY").