Paris, 14 January 2000
By an order dated 29 December 1999, France's Conseil d’Etat rejected the appeal of the Viatel company of the decision made by the Autorité de Régulation des Télécommunications (ART) refusing its February 1998 request for a single-digit prefix.
The order, extending the assembly order of the Conseil d’Etat dated 26 June 1999, confirms ART's analysis of how a network is to be established. Thus, links leased by one operator to other operators cannot be included in establishing that operator's network. This means that Viatel cannot legitimately claim it is creating a national network when major portions of the territory will be covered only by leased links.
With this order, the Conseil d'Etat officially validates the long-distance carrier selection method established by ART in 1997, which is an essential element in opening the public telephone service market to competition.