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Optical Fibre

Optical fibre network quality: Arcep publishes a new version of the common technical specifications for installing FttH networks outside very high-density areas, produced by the Fibre experts committee

This set of common specifications for the installation of FttH networks helps safeguard the quality and futureproofing of these networks

Today Arcep is publishing an update of the set of operational and technical specifications for establishing FttH networks outside very high-density areas.

These technical specs constitute the state of the art for deploying and operating FttH networks outside very high-density areas, on which Arcep can draw for its regulatory work. They are drafted and updated regularly by the Fibre experts committee, for which Arcep is the Secretary.

As part of the work being done to address the operational quality issues encountered on FttH networks over the past several years, the Fibre experts committee has introduced major changes to improve the quality of operations of these networks and to future proof them. 2021 saw the introduction of new M-patch architecture in shared access points – which improves optical cable installation and dismantling operations[1] – along with additional details on signal weakening constraints (distance-to-fault) to comply with, and verifying network acceptance (fibre acceptance testing).

The update published today completes the set of specifications on:

  • FttE[2] architectures installed by operators at shared access points to ensure increased, level 2, quality of service for business customers;
  • recommendations for the installation of lighter cables for microducts at shared access points, which provide a cheaper alternative to creating new civil engineering infrastructures;
  • the technical principle of connecting mobile sites.

Arcep welcomes these latest developments which are part of the entire sector’s endeavour to improve the quality of FttH networks’ operation and to future proof them.

The Fibre experts committee has been helping FttH networks run smoothly since 2012

Created in 2012, the Fibre experts committee is a forum for dialogue that brings together experts from stakeholders involved in FttH network deployments. It is chaired by Nokia’s Catherine Mancini. The work of the Fibre experts committee contributes to the construction of high quality and futureproofed FttH networks, at a time when these networks are poised to become the infrastructure of reference in France, with the upcoming switchoff of the legacy copper network. From a broader perspective, they are part of the Authority’s work on improving the quality of FttH networks’ operation:

  • creation in 2019 of an “FttH operations” working group whose members include infrastructure operators and commercial operators;
  • operators’ adoption in March 2020 of a QoS roadmap, which includes the signature of new sub-contracting agreements (“STOC V2”) with commercial operators designed to increase the quality of operators’ service calls, and the introduction of a systematic photographic record of each service call;
  • publication by Arcep of a supplementary action plan in late November 2021, which includes a first priority of preventing dilapidation and defective work by providing better training for service technicians and a desire to limit the number of sub-contractors to make market players more accountable; a second priority of increased supervision through the adoption of new tools for monitoring service calls and knowing which subcontractors are responsible for defective work; and a third priority focused on repairs by accelerating the pace of bringing the most dilapidated infrastructures up to code.

Associated documents:

Set of operational and technical specifications for FttH networks outside very high-density areas – Update of 21 July 2022

Find out more about the work of the Fibre experts committee

Find out more about the different bodies involved in the work on the quality of fibre operations


[1] To find out more about “M-patch” architectures see Arcep’s 2022 annual report on “Regulation in support of connected territories”

[2] Fibre-to-the-enterprise