The French regulator (ARCEP) is continuing the regulation process of Next Generation Access (NGA) in order to implement the enforcement of provisions introduced by the law on modernising the economy of 4 August 2008 (i.e. the principle of shared access to the last "drop" of the network).
In its first decision on this issue (22 December 2009), ARCEP detailed the general terms and conditions of sharing the last "drop" as well as specific provisions applicable in dense areas.
In general terms, the price of this "mutualisation" must be reasonable and comply with the principles of non-discrimination, objectivity, relevance and efficiency. The so-called "mutualisation" has to be done under the form of co-investment. However, the rate of return on investment used to determine this pricing takes into account the risk incurred and extends a risk premium to the building operator. The building operator is required to publish a reference offer of co-investment and satisfy all reasonable demands of third-party operators to share the last "drop". In particular, in the case of dense areas (148 cities defined by ARCEP), the point of concentration may be located within the limits of private property while the general principle defined in law says that the concentration point is located outside the limits of private property.
The project of decision (June 2010) provides that the backcourt point of concentration should cover areas of at least 300 houses. In its opinion, of 27 September, the Competition Authority called for the French regulator to increase vigilance in those areas where it might be necessary to mandate a kind of unbundling of the fibre at a higher level of the network. The project waits for the European Commission's opinion.
NB: due to its dominant position, France Telecom is required to provide access to its ducts everywhere and under transparent and non-discriminatory conditions and at cost-oriented tariffs.