Arcep launches a public consultation on the market for telecommunications services for businesses, and on access to superfast optical fibre networks

Paris, 14 June 2016

Today Arcep is launching a public consultation to gather feedback from stakeholders on two documents :

1) draft guidelines on fixed telecommunications services designed for business customers. This is the first time that Arcep is publishing a policy document in which it exposes its views on the state of the enterprise connectivity market in France, and examines possible avenues for improving how it operates, in a way that will be beneficial to end users;

2) a draft recommendation on access to superfast optical fibre networks with improved quality of service, and on the use of redundant fibres. The aim of this draft recommendation is to encourage the emergence of wholesale passive solutions that will help to expand the applications covered by the shared optical local loop, and particularly to meet the specific needs of businesses.

As the pace of the economy’s digital transition continues to accelerate, one of Arcep’s priorities is to ensure the smooth running of the market for telecom services aimed at enterprise customers. This is why Arcep created a discussion forum, called Enterprise workshops, which bring together the market’s stakeholders and enable the Authority to deepen its understanding of users’ true requirements. This consultation thus relates to two of the key priorities that Arcep identified in early 2016 as part of its strategic review:

  • Stimulate the development of a universal fibre network architecture that enables the emergence of a fibre mass market for small and medium enterprises (“Connected SMEs” priority);

  • Encourage investments in and the transition to optical fibre (“Optical fibre” priority). Arcep’s aim is to support and encourage the technological transition from copper to fibre access, especially amongst businesses. For this to happen, fibre access products capable of meeting businesses’ multifarious needs must be available.

Lastly, Arcep believes that it is important that a third investor/player be allowed to develop in the enterprise market, to enable healthy and lasting competition that is beneficial to end users. The avenues for reflection set out in these two documents are thus also geared to achieving this objective. Stakeholders are invited to share their comments on Arcep’s objectives and on the guidelines and recommendations submitted for consultation.

The consultation will run until 26 July 2016.

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