Reuters.co.uk has news on a dispute that is ongoing in France, that could end up being re-run if fibre is deployed by BT to the consumer or any other operator with significant market power.
In France Free (a unit of Iliad) is making a claim of 500 million Euros in damages from Orange (France Telecom) in respect of Orange not doing enough to open up fibre-optic links to its rivals. Orange has more than half the broadband market in France, with Free holding a 20% share. It is not clear whether the dispute is about allowing access to fibre in the local loop, or access to fibre for backhaul from the exchanges to the competitors existing network.
In the UK, BT is fairly heavily watched with respect to delivery of backhaul from exchanges, with for example backhaul delivery times been monitored on www.offta.org.uk. UK unbundling operators are not tied to using BT for backhaul, operators like ntl:Telewest and others can often provide backhaul. Where we are likely to see disputes will be if the BT Group decides to start pushing fibre out from the exchange into the local loop in the form of Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC).