Paris, 15 July 2010
On 20 May of this year, ARCEP submitted discussion points and initial guidelines on Internet and network neutrality to public consultation.
This document was the product of a broad, in-depth exploration of the issue that the Authority had been engaged in for close to 10 months, and which included some 50 interviews and an international conference on 13 April 2010 - the goal being to discuss the topic of Internet and network neutrality with the different stakeholders (electronic communications operators, content, service and application providers, equipment manufacturers, consumer associations, public authorities, etc.) not only from France but also from Europe and around the globe.
This public consultation ended on 13 July 2010, and received 40 responses. These rich and various contributions - which will be published in their entirety (except for those portions protected by business secrecy) - will help elucidate all of the questions addressed in the document submitted for consultation.
The responses mainly concern the definitions employed and the description of the current situation in the sector, as well as the suggested best practices, notably for traffic management and transparency in the marketing of Internet access offers. The contributions also included comments on the planned guidelines, as much with respect to ARCEP's areas of responsibility, e.g. monitoring the data interconnection market, as to related issues such as competition, content and international governance.
The Authority will now make use of these contributions to draft the recommendations that it will be publishing in September 2010.
The work performed by ARCEP will serve to complete the report that the government is due to publish in the near future. It will also help fuel debates in Parliament - notably those on transposing the new European framework - and within the European Commission which launched a consultation on this same topic on 30 June of this year.