Arcep launches public consultation on fixed broadband

Arcep launches public consultation on fixed broadband

French regulator the Autorité de Régulation des Communications électroniques et des Postes (Arcep) has launched a public consultation to review fixed broadband in France.

Arcep released proposals for transforming the French market and driving investments in fibre from incumbent Orange and its rivals.

The regulator said it is now seeking views from stakeholders on two key issues around fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology.

Arcep wants telcos and the public to look at the fibre connection between the street and the building in high density areas, while it is also looking at inter-operator operational processes for fibre sharing.

It has also proposed changed to procedures around access to Orange’s network, which hosts both legacy copper loops and newer fibre loops.

Current rules around civil engineering charges were defined in 2010, but Arcep said an increase in the use of Orange civil engineering to deploy fibre networks meant these need to be reviewed. The regulator said it is seeking to streamline the solution, and improve the predictability of the charges involved.

The consultations will be split into two parts. The first, which will run for five weeks, will consider democratising fibre and the deployment of FTTH. The second, around the civil engineering question, will run for six weeks.

In a statement, the regulator said: “Arcep welcomes the investment efforts that Orange has made, and wishes that they will continue and increase. The ability to satisfy the needs of citizens and businesses, and to achieve the objectives set by the France Très Haut Débit superfast broadband scheme will require a greater rate of investment, which will only be possible if every operators’ CapEx capacity is mobilised. 

“The investment momentum must now spread to all market players, and to every part of the country. Through its actions, Arcep will work to stimulate this momentum and to lift any operational barriers, and so to accelerate superfast network rollouts and subscribers’ migration to these networks.”

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