Orange: €26m FTTH non-compliance fine
November 9, 2023
From Pascale Paoli-Lebailly in Paris
French telecom regulatory body Arcep has sanctioned telco Orange, fining it €26 million for non-compliance with the first deadline of its FTTH commitments in the AMII zone, which comprises private initiatives in moderately dense zones.
Orange has responded by planning to take the State Council to court in order to overrule a sanction it deems “totally disproportionate”. “This fine could reduce the investments by the same amount,” it warns.
The sanction comes shortly after Orange reached an agreement with the French government to make optical fibre widespread by 2025. Orange has made “a certain number of commitments” which should “accelerate deployments throughout the whole territory”.
In announcing the fine, Arcep noted that Orange’s legally-enforceable commitments made in 2018, designed to cover some 3,000 municipalities in AMII zones with FTTH hadn’t been respected. After it noted that Orange failed to meet the first deadline for its commitments, consisting in making connectable or connectable on request 100 per cent of homes and business premises as of December 21st 2020, the authority gave formal notice in March 2022 to honour them by September 30th, 2022.
In April 2023, the Council of State, sued by Orange, dismissed the telco’s appeal and confirmed Arcep’s decision. In July 2023, Arcep further noted Orange’s non-compliance with the formal notice. Following the agreement with French State, Orange commits, in the moderately dense areas, to make 1.12 million additional homes connectable to fibre by the end of 2025, and to reach a rate of 98.5 per cent compared to 88 per cent currently.