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Jungle in optical fiber: Arcep publishes its action plan and (finally) shows the fangs

Faced with the sometimes catastrophic deployment of fiber in France, Arcep and its new president seemed to be in retreat. But the Authority seems finally decided to speak up and publish its action plan by slamming more of the fist on the table. Laure de la Raudière announces the opening of an investigation into SFR.

By way of introduction, the regulator reminds us that we are “ in a context of strong growth in deployments and subscriptions ”on optical fiber. But at the same time the “ elected officials, operators and users, whether directly or via the” J’alerte l’Arcep “platform, regularly alert the regulator to the difficulties encountered ”. The complaints are numerous: “ users disconnected for the benefit of a new subscriber, degradation of the street cabinets, temporary disconnections, connection difficulties… ”.

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2019, 2020 and 2021: to our failed acts

The Authority has put set up a working group in , then adopted a roadmap in March 2020, with in particular the establishment of new STOC contracts (subcontracting of commercial operators) and the systematization of photos in technicians’ intervention reports.

Problem , as we recently explained in detail, the situation is (very) far from being resolved. Subcontractors are multiplying like hot cakes, poor workmanship and disconnections as well.

In January, during her visit to the National Assembly before her appointment, Laure de la Raudière had announced that fiber and STOC mode were priorities: “ I will tell you, if you validate me at Arcep, it is a subject that I must take up from February of course ”.

During a Senate hearing in March (after her appointment), she spoke about a subject “ quite complicated ”, But reaffirmed his intention:“ I know that in many territories, it is a real ordeal for the populations, and that the situation is not acceptable. Today, it is a subject that is quite complicated to grasp with the legal tools available to Arcep. I’m telling you frankly I will be keen to follow this subject ”.

Since then, we cannot say that the statements or the public acts of Arcep and its president are numerous on this subject. In March of this year, the Authority even seemed to fall in love with the fiber situation, which was deemed “ difficult to understand ”. She then stated that it was “ now urgent that all the signatures be completed [sur les nouveaux contrats STOC entre les opérateurs commerciaux et ceux d’infrastructure, ndlr] and that the operators rapidly improve the quality of their interventions ”.

Six months later, the situation has not really changed and the regulator repeats it once again : “ this situation is difficult to understand ” and it is “ necessary that the planned actions ”Result as quickly as possible. A speech already heard in March, with the (non-) result that we know.

But Arcep finally decides to pass the second and has just published “ a complementary action plan to improve the quality of FttH operations ”. Three areas are put forward: better control of interventions, better control of compliance with processes and finally bring the most degraded infrastructures back into compliance. Laure de la Raudière also brandishes her police stick and points it in the direction of SFR / XP Fiber.

Towards real-time notification of interventions?

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