Connected Areas

Regional Digital Development

Arcep continues its dialogue with local authorities, and puts its “cards on the table” with the publication of a series of works


Regional digital development is one of Arcep’s top priorities. The unprecedented crisis that we are currently experiencing only highlights the degree to which these networks are vital to our country’s daily operation.

Forced to cancel its Smart Territories conference on 1 April, and deeply committed to the work it does every day, in concert with local authorities, to improve fixed and mobile connectivity, Arcep was eager to continue its ongoing dialogue with local and regional policymakers. Arcep Chair, Sébastien Soriano, and his guest Patrick Chaize, Senator for the Ain and President of Avicca (the national association of cities and local authorities for electronic communications and media), will therefore be answering local authorities’ questions during a live video chat.

This will give Arcep an opportunity to deliver the findings of its annual scorecard on regional digital development. Among those findings: additional 4.8 million premises passed for optical fibre during the year, or 50% more than in 2018. The New Deal for Mobile has already ushered in concrete improvements for citizens: in rural areas, 4G is increasingly ubiquitous and internet speeds doubled, on average, in 2019. Local authorities have identified more than 1,3000 locations that still need to be covered. Today, Arcep is preparing to meet its post-Covid imperatives, including the allocation of 5G frequencies and shepherding the transition from copper to fibre, the country’s new infrastructure of reference, as part of its market analyses;

To encourage and accelerate the pace of these efforts, Arcep is putting its cards on the table with the publication of a series of briefs for local policymakers, to assist them in their regional digital development projects.

2020 edition of Arcep’s annual “Smart Territories” report: status report on Arcep’s actions and factsheets for local authorities

Produced prior to the current health crisis, the “Smart Territories” annual report delivers a status update on regional digital development regulation. While shedding light on the issues and challenges at hand, it explains the work performed by Arcep through a series of factsheets. The New Deal for Mobile, optical fibre, universal fixed telephone service, work on 5G frequency awards: the report also examines the key sources of concern for local authorities in 2019. A four-page summary of the work is also being published.

“Ma connexion internet”: beta version of a map-based search engine goes live, and call for contributions to prepare the full version of the site

“Ma connexion internet” (My internet connection) is a brand new project developed by Arcep: a search engine that allows people in France to see which internet access technologies are available where they live and work, and to be better informed about fibre rollouts.

For a given address, the site map will display:

  • All of the available Internet Service Providers (ISP);
  • Available access technologies: wireline (fibre, cable or copper (DSL)) or wireless (fixed 4G, broadband and superfast broadband wireless access, satellite) networks;
  • maximum speeds available.

The information is presented in the form of interactive and clickable maps. The site also provides access to coverage statistics that are aggregated at different administrative levels (town, department and region), which can be useful for public policymakers, for instance.

“Ma connexion internet” is part of Arcep’s data-driven approach to regulation: designed to be a veritable tool of regulation and transparency on rollouts, to increase the information available to consumers, entrepreneurs and public policymakers, enabling them to make informed choices. In particular, this tool will enable local authorities to establish accurate diagnoses and help in defining and updating their digital strategies.

It is only the beta version of the website that is going live today, which requires further improvements: in some cases, the information provided on “Ma connexion internet” does not match the reality in the field, and some data are incomplete.

These problems are due to geographic database reconciliation issues. The source databases that Arcep reuses for addresses and buildings, notably France’s National Address Database which underpins the project, are incomplete, particularly for rural areas. Reconciling different databases generates its own set of inconsistencies. And because there is no unified benchmark database, different networks use different data repositories. Arcep has worked very hard to combine and produce the most complete reference database possible, but it is a complex endeavour and well beyond the scope of the regulator’s responsibilities. In addition, some of the many data processing operations employed to compile data from operators and geographic references are still being tested for accuracy, and the identified defects in the data are still being processed. By beta testing the website, Arcep is kicking off a collaborative process with data and regional digital development experts, and will share the algorithms that were used to build the different maps found on the site. The goal: to fully identify all of the defects, fine tune the algorithms and establish the improvements that need to be made. To this end, Arcep invites all of the stakeholders concerned, starting with local authorities and the geographic and/or telecoms data experts community, to take part in this effort. The aim is to release a complete version in the autumn.

What is being published today:

Website in beta

Associated open data

FAQ

Supplementary documents on a dedicated page

  • Presentation of the tool and call for contributions
  • Technical documentation for working with the tool

Open data: Updating information on the number of premises per municipality for FttH rollouts

Observing FttH rollouts requires a calculation of the number of premises in each municipality requiring coverage. Up until now, Arcep had been using data produced by INSEE in 2015 to make those calculations. Progress in operators’ field studies has helped to produce a new data repository for a sizeable number of municipalities: namely operators’ enhanced prior information (“IPE”) files which are designed specifically to help market the deployed networks. This data repository enables a more relevant estimate of the number of premises that need to be covered.

As a result, today Arcep is publishing a new open dataset of its fixed broadband and superfast broadband rollout observatory for Q4 2019, using this new source of information. This includes a revised assessment of around 40.4 million homes and business premises in France requiring connection to the networks, including around 7.1 million in very high density areas, around 16.5 million in lower density areas covered by private sector initiative, and around 16.8 million located in more sparsely populated areas covered by public sector initiatives.

Erratum of 16 April 2020 on the benchmark for the number of premises per municipality for FttH deployments: the total number of homes and premises for professional use to be connected to the networks on the national territory is approximately 16.5 million in less dense areas of private initiative (and not 15.8 million as published on 10 April) and approximately 16.8 million in less dense areas of public initiative (and not 17.5 million).

What is being published today:

• “Broadband/superfast broadband rollouts” in Q4 2019 open dataset

Mobile coverage maps: Arcep strengthens the average degree of reliability required from operators, which will now be 98% with a local threshold of 95%

Arcep publishes regular updates of mobile operators’ 2G, 3G and 4G coverage maps on its “Mon réseau mobile” (My mobile network) website.

Today, Arcep is publishing the decision it adopted on 31 March to increase the reliability threshold of these coverage maps. Specifically, the decision – which still requires the approval of the Minister responsible for Electronic Communications – introduces an “overall” reliability threshold for maps of 98%, compared to the current 95%. It is also includes a local threshold of 95% for areas of less than 1,000 and more than 100 km².

More precise maps will thus have to be transmitted to the Arcep and published by the operators in the course of next autumn.

What is being published today:

The Decision

“Mon Réseau Mobile”: website now includes quality of service measurements produced by local authorities and SNCF

Arcep is publishing measured mobile QoS data obtained from third parties on its  “Mon réseau mobile"  (My mobile network) website for the first time. The site will now incorporate data obtained from testing in several regions: the Cher, the Hauts-de-France, the Pays de la Loire and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. Data from measurements taken by national French rail network, SNCF, are also being made available.

These data, whose measurement protocol complies with the Regulator’s toolkit, serve to complete the findings of Arcep’s annual quality of service audits.

The fruit of very extensive work performed by these regions and SNCF, publishing these data will provide users with a more detailed snapshot of mobile connectivity where they live and work. The data will also be useful in achieving the targeted coverage goals of the New Deal for Mobile, for local project teams who select the areas to be covered by operators.

Arcep salutes the tremendous work done by local authorities and their elected representatives, and by SNCF, and their valuable contribution to keeping users and public policymakers better informed.

The commitment to producing open data that comply with the regulator’s toolkit will continue, with all of the willing stakeholders wanting to share their data with Arcep.

Are you planning on conducting, or have you conducted a measurement campaign in your area? Get in touch with Arcep’s dedicated teams to talk about your completed work or future plans, by sending an e-mail to: monreseaumobile[a]arcep.fr.

What is being published today:

Update of Mon Réseau Mobile with data from:

  • the Cher (data from Department of the Cher);
  • the Hauts-de-France (data from Departments of the Aisne, the Nord, Pas de Calais and the Somme, Oise Très Haut Débit open mixed association and the Banque des Territoires, with the support of the Hauts de France Region, the Hauts de France region’s prefecture and the prefectures of the concerned departments);
  • the Pays de la Loire (data from Gigalis, the Pays de la Loire Region’s digital tech open mixed association);
  • Auvergne Rhône-Alpes (data from the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region and the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region’s prefecture);
  • SNCF railway network (data from SNCF and QoSi).

Corresponding open data

Factsheets on the protocols used to perform these tests

Partnership agreement signed with the Department of the Cher.

Similar agreements will be signed with other data providers.

“Mon Réseau Mobile” and New Deal for Mobile scorecard: updates with data for Q4 2019

Every quarter, Arcep publishes 2G, 3G and 4G mobile coverage data for Metropolitan France and the Overseas territories: maps and coverage rates, cell site location, progress report on the New Deal for Mobile… today Arcep is publishing data for Q4 2019. The vast majority of operators’ own cell sites in Metropolitan France are now 4G capable, and further efforts are needed to cover the sites covered by the old “Town Centre – White spots” programme. Operators in France’s overseas markets are also making progress on their rollouts.

Data available in the New Deal scorec ard, on monreseaumobile.fr and in open datasets.

What is being published today:

2G, 3G and 4G mobile coverage data for Metropolitan France and French overseas territories, in Q4 2019

Corresponding open data

Q4 figures of the New Deal scorecard