Arcep unveils proposals to speed-up fibre rollout

Arcep unveils proposals to speed-up fibre rollout

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 fibre instalments.

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 Business.

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