October 5, 2017 / 5:18 PM / a year ago

Orange's copper network rental costs to drop in 2018-regulator

PARIS, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Iliad, Bouygues Telecom and SFR Group are likely to see the monthly rent they pay to access Orange’s fixed copper network drop in 2018, according to proposals from French telecoms regulator Arcep on Thursday.

The proposals come as French telecoms operators are moving away from the traditional copper network to new fibre optic networks for their fixed high-speed internet services.

Orange, France’s former telecoms monopoly, offers access to its fixed copper network to rivals under regulated tariffs. These costs are passed on to customers through bundled offers that generally include television, fixed phone and internet.

Under Arcep’s proposals, the monthly price cap to access the network would drop to 9.31 euros in 2018 from 9.45 euros in 2017.

It would then rise to 9.41 euros in 2019 and 9.51 euros in 2020, as the decrease in the use of the copper technology is expected to accelerate by the end of the decade.

The French regulator said it took into account Orange’s accounting constraints and the investments made by Orange and other operators in high-speed fibre optic broadband services to determine the price caps.

Arcep’s proposals are under public consultation until Nov. 6.

Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain. Editing by Jane Merriman

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