The telecoms component of France’s economic reform law ‘Loi Macron’, which was adopted in first reading in the National Assembly (the lower House) last week, will significantly strengthen the powers of watchdog Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (Arcep), domestic newspaper Les Echos reports. The new regulation, which now needs to pass the upper House (the Senate) before being formally adopted, touches upon the regulation of mobile network sharing agreements between operators. While Arcep currently has no jurisdiction in the facilitation of such roaming agreements, the new Loi Macron will allow the regulator to amend the length and financial terms of the contracts, if it deems it necessary for the proper functioning of the telecoms market. However, Arcep will only be allowed to do so after a consultation with the country’s independent competition watchdog, Autorite de la Concurrence.
In addition, Loi Macron also provides for the facilitation of the national fibre rollout, as building residents’ committees will be able to approve infrastructure deployments; under the current regime, fibre-optic deployments are given the green light following the vote of general assemblies, held once a year. Furthermore, all buildings authorised after 1 July 2016 will have to be equipped with fibre, rather than only those with twelve or more residential or business premises at present.