Paris, 8 April 2002
Autorité de régulation des télécommunications (ART) recently ruled on a dispute brought before it on 4 January 2002 between LDCOM and France Télécom.
The case dealt with four distinct elements of unbundling :
· the principles regulating France Télécom's implementation of filters and tie cables as well as their pricing
· France Télécom's provision of a guaranteed recovery time (GRT) for unbundled lines within four hours, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week
· the possibility for LDCOM to choose its cable chamber on France Télécom sites
· a decrease in the service access charge for an unbundled line
On the first point, which is indispensable for operators wishing to develop high-speed Internet access offers on the residential market, ART considered that France Télécom's provision of a filtering service with a monthly charge is both necessary and justified. It tends to put the operators in a similar filtering situation as France Télécom, since it reduces entry costs and improves visibility for operators on their forecast costs. For these reasons, ART supported LDCOM's request on this point. It set the maximum monthly charge for the filtering service at €2.25 per month and per access, for 2002.
In accordance with article L.36-8 of the Post and Telecommunications Code, ART did not consider the request for pricing conditions for tie cables admissible, because the concern had not been previously discussed by LDCOM and France Télécom, and therefore, the dispute was not formed on this point.
On the second point, ART considered that France Télécom must provide a GRT offer within four hours, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for a fixed charge of no more than €20 per month. LDCOM required this service in order to market offers on the professional market from unbundled lines, comparable in terms of service quality to France Télécom's offers.
On the third point, ART requested that France Télécom permit LDCOM to choose its cable chamber on FT's sites.
On the fourth point, regarding the reduction of service access charges for unbundled lines, ART considered that LDCOM's request, which was based primarily on a comparison with service access charges of some of France Télécom's commercial offers, did not have sufficient justification in this dispute.
This decision should contribute to the development of ADSL offers by third party operators, which would compete with France Télécom's offer on the residential market, by reducing certain entry costs for partial unbundling, and by offering operators greater visibility. It follows ART's line of action, begun in late 1999, which works toward the emergence of effective competition on the local loop and high speed markets.
The text of decision n°.02-278 (pdf - 88 Ko) dated 28 March 2002.