ARCEP is publishing the executive summary of a report and survey on the uses made of the copper local loop, and the impact of these applications' migrating to superfast access networks. The Authority is also beginning work on deepening its understanding of current and future network and internet usage.

Paris, 20 November 2014

- The telecoms sector in France has undergone a major overhaul over the past several years. One particularly striking aspect of these modernisation efforts has been the heavy investments made in superfast access network rollouts.
Given the extraordinary development of electronic communications, and their application in all sectors of society and the economy, this progress has been vital and needs to continue. The aim is to meet the growing demand coming from businesses that use these networks to innovate, to reach new markets and distribute the services and content they produce or publish more efficiently, and to meet the needs of end users, be they individual consumers, professionals or public services. These many and various requirements also correspond to specific expectations in terms of performance, quality of service, network architecture and coverage.

Well aware of these issues and challenges, ARCEP is engaged in a series of efforts aimed at deepening its understanding of current and future network and internet usage.

- Regarding the transition to superfast access networks, ARCEP is already publishing the executive summary of a study it commissioned from the consulting firm, Cogisys in 2014, which included a survey of the uses made of the copper local loop, and the impact of these applications' migrating to superfast access networks. This survey of changing behaviours was conducted through interviews with 40 market players, primarily large corporations and public organisations, operating in a wide variety of fields (energy, environment, transportation, defence, security, etc.) as well as representatives of various professions (federations and trade associations) along with telecom carriers and equipment manufacturers. In addition to usage, the purpose of this report was to inform ARCEP and the market's stakeholders on the migration to an all-IP ecosystem, the underlying operational issues, the roadmap for implementing replacement solutions for all of these applications, as well as the (notably economic) impact of this migration from the users' standpoint.

- According to corroborating studies, data traffic is increasing by around 20% a year on wireline networks, and by 60% a year on mobile networks. Data traffic on wireline networks today is around 100 times greater than mobile network traffic but, as pointed out at ARCEP's recent conference, this gap will shrink steadily over time. Fixed-mobile convergence will result, among other things, in the de-specialisation of the networks which will need to be capable of relaying any content.

 

As a result, in addition to the many current applications identified in this report, it seemed vital for both ISPs and their regulator, ARCEP, to deepen their quantitative and qualitative knowledge of the different sectors' current and future requirements with respect to the central uses of the internet: M2M, enterprise solutions, big-data/cloud, online gaming, e-commerce, online government services (administration, e-government), linear and on-demand TV and video products, e-learning, eMedicine, web applications (mail, search…), etc.

This is why, as a follow-through to questions that have been addressed by its Forward-planning committee and at its annual conferences, ARCEP has decided to begin work on deepening its knowledge of how the internet is used. Which will in turn enable it to adapt its regulation to the true state of the digital ecosystem.


Linked documents

The summary of the study COGISYS (pdf - 1.30 Mo) (pdf - in French only)