Paris, 8th February 2013,
On 3 December 2012, ARCEP submitted an interim scorecard on ultra-fast broadband retail and wholesale markets to public consultation. The purpose was to verify whether existing ultra-fast broadband regulations - which include both symmetrical obligations, in other words which apply to all operators, and asymmetrical ones, i.e. which apply only to France Telecom - were capable of guaranteeing a state of effective competition until the framework comes up for review in June 2014. In its conclusion to this document ARCEP stated that, as it stands, competition in this market did not appear to require any changes to the remedies introduced in 2011, neither in terms of changes to the obligations imposed for the duration of this round of market analysis, nor in anticipation of the upcoming round.
Having taken the utmost account of the 13 responses to the consultation submitted by the sector's leading players, today ARCEP is releasing its final report which examines the effectiveness of current ultra-fast broadband market regulation. These responses confirm ARCEP's initial analysis, namely that the existing regulatory framework governing ultra-fast broadband is properly adapted to current market analyses, running up to mid-2014.
Beyond that, in light of the responses that we received, the question of adjustments to symmetrical regulations - and particularly the borders between high-density and more sparsely populated areas - along with the introduction of additional remedies that are specific to the ultra-fast broadband market, will be addressed and explored as part of the work being done in preparation for the upcoming 4th round of market analysis. As several of the players suggested in their responses, ARCEP believes that any changes to symmetrical and asymmetrical regulations relating to ultra-fast broadband markets need to be examined together, given the spillover effects of these two forms of regulation.
Lastly, ARCEP noted that several operators mentioned core issues for the upcoming round of market regulation - as addendums to their official responses to the subject of the consultation - and particularly:
- links between relevant markets, in terms of usage;
- regulatory aspects of the transition from copper to fibre (including the future of LLU-related solutions);
- links between connecting 4G mobile stations and markets 4 (1) and 5 (2) ;
- taking triple play bundles that include television services into consideration for wholesale market regulation.
Given the tremendous scope of the issues that have been raised, ARCEP will begin to prepare immediately for the 4th round of fixed broadband and ultra-fast broadband market regulation, while also revising its analysis of the wholesale capacity market and, within the same timeline, possible adjustments to existing symmetrical regulations.
(1) Wholesale (physical) network infrastructure access (including shared or fully unbundled access) at a fixed location.
(2) Wholesale broadband and ultra-fast broadband network access including 'bitstream' access at a fixed location.
The Final Report (pdf - in French only)
Stakeholders' responses to the consultation (zip - in French)