French telecoms regulator Arcep has opened a public consultation on Orange’s plan to decommission its copper network (submitted to the regulator at the end of January 2022). Arcep has invited comments on the plan – which envisions all fixed infrastructure to be fibre-based by 2030 – by 4 April 2022. Orange is aiming to complete the copper-based network closure in two phases; the transition phase, scheduled to run from 2020 to 2025, aims to prepare for the closure of the copper network while waiting for the completion of the main deployments of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) networks at the end of 2025. This phase, which has already begun, aims in particular to enable Orange to conduct all necessary experiments, organise customer migrations and anticipate the eventual closure by limiting the creation of new copper accesses. The second stage (closure phase) will run from 2026 to 2030 and will see Orange stop the marketing of any new access on copper, technically close the network and prepare the removal of certain elements of the network. The technical closure of the copper network will be implemented by Orange in annual batches, with the first one (approximately 170,000 premises) scheduled for the end of 2023.