French regulator Arcep is proposing regulation encouraging shared fiber rollouts for the 80% of residences in less densely-populated areas.
The regulator has issued a draft determination suggesting shared access points for grouping around 1,000 lines, which would act as the last mile in single-fiber networks.
A minimum of 300 lines would be needed for the sharing scheme.
Early consultation suggests the strategy would help reduce the costs of fiber rollouts to these premises, while maintaining competition and customers' ability to have free choice of service provider.
“The great diversity of these areas calls for a flexible framework that includes a high degree of sharing and more joint action with local authorities to guarantee homogeneous coverage across the country,” Arcep stated.
In the 20% of homes in very densely populated parts of the country, operators can afford to have their own dedicated end-to-end network, Arcep said.
Arcep said France's three main fixed-line operators, France Telecom, Free and SFR, jointly plan to make 800,000 homes eligible for fiber access over the next year, but all in densely-populated areas.
This would bring to 1.7 million the total number of households cleared for FTTH in these areas.
Arcep will now seek public consultation on the draft decision.