Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Regulators Require France Telecom to Provide Access to Competitors

The European Commission will require France Telecom to provide its competitors with wholesale, nationwide high-speed access to its network for a transitional period of one year.

This regulatory measure, proposed by the French national regulatory authority for electronic communications, ARCEP, was authorised by the European Commission.

The measure will apply until competing network operators have built a sufficiently wide backbone network and a large enough customer base to enable them to invest further in regional broadband services.

The Commission asked ARCEP to review this market again within a year to fully take account of new market developments which could enhance competition in the wholesale nationwide broadband market in France.

The regulators believe that competition in this market will be facilitated if France Telecom is obliged to ensure internal accounting transparency between its wholesale network branch and its retail ISP entity, as the recent reintegration of Wanadoo into France Telecom may have potential consequences on retail competition.

"The measures authorised by the Commission today for a transitional period of one year should give market players legal certainty and confidence to invest more in regional broadband and local connection services over the next year," said Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding.


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