Communiqué de presse

ARCEP proposals for improving consumer offers.

Paris, 18 February 2011

Today, ARCEP is publishing its proposals for improving the offers that Internet access providers, wireline and wireless electronic communications operators and postal operators deliver to consumers. The aim of these proposals is to ensure that consumers are able to make an informed choice when subscribing to a service, as much in terms of the nature and quality of the services on offer as their price.

ARCEP's role in support of consumers

The Law defines the objectives that must guide the Authority's actions. Among other things, ARCEP must ensure "a high level of consumer protection […] particularly through the transparency of the prices and terms of use applied to the electronic communications services that are available to the public".

In the postal market, the Law requires ARCEP to monitor compliance with universal service obligations.

The legislature has imposed strong expectations on ARCEP in the area of consumer affairs - on the one hand by giving it the power to process postal customers' complaints, since 1 January 2011, and on the other by requiring it to produce an assessment of the telecom section of the Act of 3 January 2008 concerning the development of competition for the benefit of consumers.

Lastly, the third European telecoms package of December 2009, which is currently being transposed into national law, strengthens national regulatory authorities' role in the area of consumer protection.

Prior discussions which began in early 2010

These proposals are the fruit of a wide-reaching examination process that ARCEP has been engaged in since the start of 2010, in tandem with stakeholders.

From July to October 2010, ARCEP undertook the first round of discussions with the different players concerned: consumer associations, operators and their representative associations, as well as the general directorate for fair trade, consumer affairs and fraud control, DGCCRF (Direction Générale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Répression des Fraudes). ARCEP also gathered information from other European NRAs through the BEREC (Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications). The work performed on the issue of internet and network neutrality also helped inform ARCEP's findings.

Upon completion of the first round of discussions, ARCEP submitted a document that provides a diagnosis of the situation in each of the areas being examined to a public consultation that ran from 26 November 2010 to 14 January 2011, before drafting its proposals. Alongside this public consultation, ARCEP also held talks with all of the sector's stakeholders during the month of January 2011.

The document being published today takes into account the comments and remarks received during this second round of consultation.

Twenty three proposals concern electronic communications services and seven concern postal services.

ARCEP's proposals for electronic communications services concern:

- the transparency of the offers (proposals no. 1 through 6),
- market fluidity (proposals no. 7 through 12),
- the quality and availability of the services (proposals no. 13 through 15),
- the particular case of value-added services (proposals no. 16 through 22)
- providing access to electronic communications services to people with disabilities (proposal no. 23).

ARCEP's proposals for postal services concern:

- complaint processing procedures (proposal no. 24),
- compliance with universal service obligations and those governing other postal activities (proposals no. 25 through 28),
- the role of the La Poste stamp (proposal no. 29)
- the principle of equal value of the registered mail from all postal operators (proposal no. 30).

Proposals nos. 1, 6, 17, 18, 19, 24 and 26 constitute a reiteration, an interpretation or the enforcement of existing provisions, and are therefore effective immediately.

Proposals nos. 2, 3, 5, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23 25, 27, 28, 29 and 30 are aimed and continuing or engaging work to be performed in tandem with public or private sector players.

And, finally, proposals nos. 4, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 20 constitute recommendations that ARCEP is submitting to Parliament and to the Government, for them to follow up on as they see fit.

Between now and the end of the year, ARCEP will assess the implementation of these proposals, and particularly those that involve commitments that operators have made to public authorities.

Linked documents

Smiley Summary of the public consultation (pdf - 165 Ko) (pdf - ) Smiley

Smiley The responses to the ARCEP public consultation that are not covered by trade secrecy are available (zip - 14.56 Mo) (ACSEL, AFOC, Afone, AFRC, AFUTT, ALLDC, Alternative Mobile, ATOS Wordline, Axialys, Bouygues Telecom, Claude Barbot, CLCV, CNAFC, Colt, Dauphin Telecom, Familles de France, Familles rurales, FFT, France Télécom, François Cartegnie, GPMSE, Iliad, KPN, La Poste, NRJ Mobile, Omer Telecom, Philippe Balin, Prosodie, SFR, Transatel, UFC - Que choisir, un opérateur) (zip - 14 Mo - ) Smiley

Smiley 30 ARCEP proposals (pdf - 3.29 Mo) (pdf - ) / To order a copy (in French only) Smiley