France Telecom paves way for ADSL after EU ruling

Suzanna Kerridge, Paris correspondent

Suzanna Kerridge, Paris correspondent

France Telecom has revealed its ADSL offerings after an EU competition council ruling forcing it to open its services to competitors. The telco was ordered on 18 February to develop commercial and technical offerings for competitors such as Cegetel and 9 Telecom. The telco said it will offer ADSL services in two stages - ADSL ConnectIP and ASDL Connect ATM. The first stage will prompt competitors to offer high-speed Internet services providing they are different from the current Netissimo ADSL service from France Telecom. ADSL Connect ATM will eventually replace ConnectIP by providing ADSL over ATM-based networks with speeds up to 128kbits. France Telecom said this service will be available from October. However, the former state-owned company has also demanded compensation for opening the local loop. A France Telecom spokesman claimed that ratification of the current telecom tariffs made it more difficult for the company to compete. The company has proposed a price range of between FF50 and100 (£4.50 and £10) per line per month for access to the local loop. The spokesman said this type of access by competitors to the telephone network should cover the cost of future developments.