Communiqué de presse - Networks

Optical Fibre

FttH network access and the non-discrimination principle: Arcep presents its first assessment of the Altice France/SFR group’s operational processes

After having audited Orange’s FttH information systems (IS), in 2021 the Authority conducted a similar audit of the IS belonging to the Altice France/SFR group (which includes SFR, Xp Fibre and the Xp Fibre subsidiaries that operate public-initiative networks) – the infrastructure operator deploying a significant number of optical fibre lines across the whole of France. Today, it is publishing the results of that audit.

The audit did not identify any discrimination between commercial operators. The Altice France/SFR group has committed to make broader use of common tools.

The audit looked at the eligibility, order, production/delivery and after-sales service processes of the Altice France/SFR group’s IS tools used in its relationships with commercial operators. This first audit also examined cross-corporate rights management within the Altice France/SFR group.

The audit did not reveal any discrimination between commercial operators, but did conclude that a portion of the IS tools employed are not common, identical tools for commercial operator SFR and third-party commercial operators. The Altice France/SFR group has committed to bring changes to its FttH IS, between summer 2022 and the end of 2023, to use common tools.

Arcep will work to ensure that the changes announced by the Altice France/SFR group are implemented.

Importance of operational processes in fibre-to-the-home (FttH) network sharing: key to safeguarding fair and effective competition that benefits users

FttH networks deployed in France are shared between operators, in accordance with the Law. Operational processes for accessing FttH networks must therefore be non-discriminatory, to ensure that the operators that use the shared network are on an equal footing with the operator that built the network.

It is especially important to ensure integrated operators that deploy a significant percentage of the country’s optical fibre lines do not, knowingly or unknowingly, benefit from facilitated management conditions compared to the other operators accessing their networks and contributing to their financing.

To this end, Article 8 of Arcep Decision No. 2020-1432 stipulates that, save for some exceptions, vertically integrated operators must use the same IT tools as those made available to third-party operators, and the same common processes, to guarantee equal treatment.

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