13 September 2000
The publication of the decree regarding local loop access is an essential step in encouraging a market which is open to competition, especially for Internet access. France is respecting the European calendar which stipulates that this decision must be taken in order to ensure the effective implementation of unbundling by 1st January 2001.
The decree follows considerable work conducted by ART in the past two years. ART has taken various initiatives to facilitate the implementation of unbundling under good conditions. The public consultation it held in 1999 allowed it to determine the issues of unbundling and to offer technical solutions. Since February 2000, intensive work has been underway in a working group led by ART and including France Telecom, competing operators and industrialists. The group has focused on defining the detailed conditions of the implementation of unbundling. Experiments conducted by some thirty players are currently being conducted on several sites on France Telecom's network.
ART was consulted on a draft decree. Discussions following the submission of its opinion on 21 July 2000 led to the text's publication today. This work is yet further proof of the regular cooperation between the Secretary of State to Industry and ART.
ART will ensure the decree's provisions are respected, especially those regarding the provision of information required by operators requesting access beginning 1st October 2000. On 1st November 2000, it will publish the list of pertinent costs and will define the method for calculating average long-run incremental costs (LRIC).
Finally, as explained by Christian Pierret, current president of the European Council of Telecommunications Ministers, ART notes that France will do all in its power "to accelerate the adoption of the regulation" which will allow all countries of the Union to bring in unbundling under optimum conditions.
Unbundling is a major decision in that it affects the local loop market valued at FRF 56 bn in 1999 and which is growing regularly given the development of Internet.
The decree regarding local loop access and ART opinion no. 00-748 (pdf - 50 Ko) regarding the draft decree