Superfast Broadband

Broadband and superfast broadband markets reviews consultation: draft analysis decisions published and submitted to the Competition Authority

Paris, 19 February 2014

Following the release of the market “review and prospects” and the first draft versions of its decisions, ARCEP now issues its second draft of broadband and superfast broadband markets analyses to be submitted to the Competition Authority for advice.

These draft decisions are designed to define the  asymmetric regulation framework – in other words which applies only to SMP operator Orange(1) – for the fixed broadband and superfast broadband markets, i.e.:
 - wholesale (physical) network infrastructure access at a fixed location (market 4);
 - wholesale broadband access (market 5);
 - wholesale terminating segments of leased lines (market 6).

Having thoroughly analysed the stakeholders’ answers to the first consultation round, ARCEP intends to keep several of the submitted changes in this draft decision, especially:
-    the scope, use and access to Orange civil engineering infrastructures for optical local loops rollouts;
-    access to IPTV services in unbundled areas, and the expansion of unbundling;
-    securing the terms and conditions of Orange dark fibre backhaul offer (LFO) and, more broadly, the relevant conditions needed to roll out and operate optical local loops;
-    increased monitoring of submarine cable tariffs;
-    changes to regulation regarding businesses active optical fibre plans , taking into account changes in market competition;
-    various operational improvements to existing wholesale solutions (unbundling, civil engineering, sub-loop unbundling, business dedicated bundled offers, etc.);
-    stronger non-discrimination obligations, consistent with the European Commission recommendation of 11 September 2013 on “consistent non-discrimination obligations and costing methodologies to promote competition and enhance the broadband investment environment”.

Furthermore, taking into account various issues stakeholders raised in their answers to the earlier consultation, ARCEP submits several adjustments to its previous draft decision, especially:
-    regarding the market 4 analysis, Orange’s ducts operational terms and conditions for optical local loop rollouts have been clarified, taking into account the wide range of rollout situations and the growing shared use of this crucial resource;
-    regarding the market 6 analysis, a partial and gradual lessening of tariff regulation for bitstream offers for business on copper and optical fibre networks is planned from 2015 onwards, synchronously with copper and fibre alternative infrastructures rollouts.

A well-functioning and fluid electronic communications market is crucial for the French businesses’ competitiveness, especially regarding high service level solutions provided by their operators. ARCEP will thus pay especially close attention to operators’ level of excellence in this field – first and foremost the incumbent’s.

The consultation is open until 26 March 2014.

(1) And to GCN for wholesale capacity services on inter-territorial segments landing in the overseas collectivity of Saint-Barthélemy.

Linked documents

Draft decision on analysis of market 4
Draft decision on analysis of market 5
Draft decision on analysis of market 6
Contributions received from the public consultation in November 2013 on the first version of this draft decision