Communiqué de presse - Fixed wireless access

To meet regional demand for superfast connectivity, Arcep is opening a single window for superfast wireless access

Paris, 11 December 2017

Concerned about the future development of superfast access in their regions, local authorities informed Arcep of their desire for additional access solutions to complement superfast wireline, e.g. optical fibre (FttH), networks. The goal being to rapidly increase available speeds and services, and to meet the targets the Government has set for high standard broadband and superfast broadband access for every citizen, by 2020 and 2022, respectively.

Complete the toolkit available to the regions, in parallel with the deployment of fibre: the baseline infrastructure for the coming decades

In 2017, Arcep strengthened its fixed network regulation to facilitate and accelerate fibre deployments, notably in those areas covered by government-supported rollouts - fibre being the baseline communication network infrastructure for the coming decades. At the same time, to bring rapid improvements that will satisfy French users' most pressing needs, Arcep is committed to enabling all technologies.

To this end, Arcep decided to allocate the 3410 - 3460 MHz band to digital development stakeholders, for the deployment of superfast wireless solutions, which come to complete the toolkit available to the regions for ensuring broadband and superfast broadband coverage.

A single-window system for stakeholders: allocations will be coupled with strong regional development targets

Today Arcep is publishing the terms and conditions for allocating 3410 - 3460 MHz band spectrum to superfast wireless systems.

These terms and conditions were established by taking into account the public consultation that Arcep held on the matter, from 13 July 2017 to 7 September 2017, and an analysis of the 20 contributions received from local authorities, operators, equipment suppliers and associations.

Because the frequencies are intended to help achieve superfast rollout targets, in tandem with the other access technologies being used, within each department in France their allocation will be confined to those areas where there are no other fixed superfast rollouts planned in the short or medium term. The terms of the licences will include strong coverage and availability obligations, to ensure high quality superfast access services.

In accordance with Arcep Decision No. 2017-1081, which the Government has just approved, these frequencies will only be used to provide fixed internet access services.

The single-window system will be opened once approval of the Arcep decision has been published in the Journal Officiel. It should therefore be possible for the first licences to be awarded in early 2018.