French telecoms watchdog, the Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (Arcep), has announced that it has settled an ongoing dispute between leading telco Orange France and the Pays de Bitche Region Association of Municipalities, with regards to the terms and conditions under which the association must provide third-party operators with access to the fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) public initiative network (PIN) infrastructure in the Moselle department.
The regulator has confirmed that the solution requested by Orange France, which involves the installation of ‘concentration points’ in existing passive cabinets, in order to allow the carrier to access the Pays de Bitche Region Association of Municipalities’ network, should now be implemented. Arcep has also granted the majority of Orange France’s requests for changes to the technical and pricing terms and conditions of the Pays de Bitche Region Association of Municipalities’ passive access product. Further, the association has seven months to produce a roadmap for adapting its network and creating a new access product that complies with the FTTH regulatory framework.
Meanwhile, the watchdog has also settled a dispute between rivals Orange and Free Mobile, which relates to Free Mobile billing its rival for ‘call origination’ service – value added service (VAS) call origination – since entering the market in 2012. Arcep ruled that Free Mobile’s billing for VAS call origination was unacceptable, particularly given the impact that this practice would have on the VAS value chain. Arcep has pointed out that the VAS retail market is currently under review, and that a series of reforms will be introduced in October 2015. The impact that these reforms will have on the wholesale market was analysed in a recommendation on the wholesale VAS interconnection market, as published on 20 March 2014 – the purpose being to enable all stakeholders along the value chain to prepare for the implementation of reforms in the retail market. Arcep has invited all operators to consult the recommendation.