Paris, 10 January 2002
In its decision dated 21 December 2001, Autorité de régulation des télécommunications (ART) ruled on the dispute presented to it on 27 July 2001 by UPC France, opposing it and France Telecom.
This decision follows another taken by ART on 31 August 2001, for the same dispute, regarding conservatory measures ordering France Telecom to open interconnection on its network for calls from UPC France subscribers to Internet services accessed by numbers with the format 08 60 PQ MC DU.
- The object of the complaint
The dispute concerns three distinct points:
- remuneration of UPC France for the termination service it provides to France Telecom in routing incoming telephone calls on its network, i.e. telephone calls made to UPC subscribers
- remuneration of UPC France for the origination service it provides to France Telecom in routing outgoing telephone calls on its network, i.e. telephone calls made by UPC subscribers to special services and Internet services accessed by numbers with the format 08 60 PQ MC DU and provided by France Telecom and other operators
- the technical and operational conditions for implementing geographic number portability between UPC France and France Telecom
- ART's decision
On the call termination charge on UPC France's network
For the termination service UPC provides to France Telecom, ART set a single annual charge, with no fixed charge or hourly modulation, of €0,0125 (FRF 0.0821) per minute for 2001, and €0.0105 (FRF 0.069) per minute for 2002, provided that the interconnection architecture between the companies remains the same in 2002.
These charges are based on an equitable method, which is identical to that which had been applied to these two companies in 1999 and 2000 and which ART had introduced in 1999 in its ruling on a similar dispute between Cegetel Entreprises and France Telecom.
Moreover, ART agreed that UPC France had the right to determine the prices for its own services.
In the ruling, ART reminded the parties that it was up to France Telecom to place a complaint if it contested the interconnection price set by a third party operator (in this case, the call termination charge set by a local loop operator) and that it cannot legitimately unilaterally refuse to pay for services it has used because it considers the price excessive.
On the telephone call and Internet origination charges on UPC France's network
Concerning the charges for the origination services provided by UPC France to France Telecom to Internet and certain special services, ART considered it equitable that UPC France be paid prices equal to those for call termination on its network to which are added the surcharges applied by France Telecom in its interconnection catalogue for the provision of equivalent services to other operators.
In particular, ART disagreed with France Telecom's proposals to set the remuneration of UPC France based on the prices France Telecom offers to special service providers and ISPs.
For all these termination and collection prices, ART gave France Telecom and UPC France four weeks to bring their interconnection agreement in line with its decision.
On the conditions for implementing geographic number portability
Regarding geographic number portability, ART took a decision which will, within a maximum of six months, improve the technical conditions of implementing this service between France Telecom and UPC, and thereby improve the service UPC offers its own clients.
The means of implementing these measures, which include the creation of an automated one-stop shop at France Telecom and the reduction of the deadlines offered by FT, will be established together by the two companies who will be required to establish an interconnection agreement conforming with ART's decision by 1st February 2002.
- Decisions which encourage the development of competition on the local loop
These decisions encourage the development of competition on the local loop market: they ensure that the interconnection services required by local loop operators are fairly remunerated; they also improve the conditions for geographic number portability in France and thereby make it easier for consumers to choose a local loop operator.
ART's decision n° 01-1235 (pdf - 83 Ko) dated 21 December