11 January 2017
| James Pearce
Arcep has unveiled its plans for future regulations that will promote the rollout of fibre technologies across France.
The French regulator has proposed a number of guidelines
aimed at ensuring competition and preventing Orange from
becoming too dominant, as the incumbent continues to roll out
fibre at a faster rate than its rivals.
These guidelines include allowing competitors better access
to Orange’s infrastructure to connect their own
It will also push Orange to switch ADSL subscribers to fibre
in areas where it isn’t deploying the technology.
Arcep also wants to see the co-financing agreement between
Orange and SFR applied to less dense areas.
An Arcep statement said: "Arcep notes and welcomes the
investment effort that Orange has made. This momentum must now
spread to all market players. Through its actions, Arcep will
work to prevent any obstructive behaviour from Orange, whether
with respect to other operators wanting to invest in
fibre-to-the-home networks, or to upgrading broadband networks
to superfast and ultrafast systems."
A number of Orange’s rivals, including Free,
Bouygues Telecom and SFR, have accused Orange of using its
former monopoly to invest faster in the deployment of fibre,
which it has a 75% share, according to reports from France.
The regulator has backed down on plans to increase the price
of the copper network that Orange leases out to its rivals,
however, in the latest proposals.
Orange have criticised the proposals, according to Les
Echos. "The reasoning of the regulator may seem odd, it notes a
delay in the deployment of very high speed in France and
encourages operators to invest more.We share this view, but we
do not understand why, because it is not going fast enough, you
have to brake the one who is the fastest," Pierre Louette, CEO,
general secretary, operators (France) and purchasing for
Orange, told the French publication.
The proposals come as Arcep chief Sebastien Soriano
challenged operators in France to "invest or die"
in an exclusive interview with Global Telecoms