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France to open civil infrastructure to operators

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French operators will have better access to transport, power and water infrastructure as the country's regulator aims to improve coverage in the country.

Arcep welcomed the decision taken by the French government to open up the country's infrastructure to both fixed and mobile operators.

The government said it wanted to improve connectivity and coverage across France, especially within sparsely populated areas, and parts of the country where infrastructure access is limited, such as along transport lines.

It launched a new observatory in February to help it track the levels of coverage in rural parts of France.

Arcep said in future that operators will have access to civil engineering infrastructure "under reasonable technical and pricing terms and conditions".

Operators will also have the right to gain access to information about civil engineering masts. In future, the rollout of civil engineering works will be coordinated to ensure the better supply of different utilities.

If an infrastructure manager denies an operator request to access their network, Arcep will have the power to settle a dispute.

Arcep will collaborate with the regulator of the relevant sector, whether it is energy or roads and railways, to come to a final decision within four months.

Last week, Arcep announced the end of national roaming deals between France's operators.

It had previously said that network sharing needed to be curtailed in order to protect investment by operators.