Paris, 8 March 2005
For the past several months, Autorité de régulation des télécommunications (ART), in cooperation with sector players, has been preparing the means of allocating new authorisations for the use of frequencies in the 3.4-3.8 GHz band to deploy wireless local loop (WLL) networks. These authorisations will allow the development of Wimax technologies.
In this preparatory phase, the question was raised of how local authorities might be allocated such authorisations to develop high-speed service offers.
To clarify the legal aspects of this problem, in early February, ART requested the expert opinion of Daniel Labetoulle, former President of the Disputes Division of the French Council of State (Conseil d’Etat).
On 2nd March 2005, Daniel Labetoulle submitted his report to ART. His primary conclusions can be summarised as follows:
- Territorial units may be granted and hold a frequency use authorisation.
- In the event of competing applications for the same frequency authorisation, territorial units cannot expect preferential treatment. In the same way, they must not be penalised by the means of allocation.
- ART is free to define the geographic area where any given frequency authorisation may be offered. However, authorisations must not be proposed under a territorial framework to which territorial units do not have access.
- None of the allocation methods envisioned thus far appears to be legally incompatible with applications by territorial units.
- Concerning the choice of the selection procedure, applicable texts impose multiple criteria and propose the auction system as one possible criterion.
ART is making this report public today in order to share this information with all interested parties.
In light of this document, ART will re-examine the wireless local loop (WLL) license allocation file in cooperation with all players in order to respect the conclusions of President Labetoulle’s report.