Paris, 30th March 2012
- Background and ARCEP objectives
Data conveyance and interconnection markets, which fall under the Authority's purview, are vital elements in the Internet's technical and economic operations. Both are rapidly evolving markets and ones that involve sometimes complex relationships between Internet service providers (ISPs), providers of public online communication services (PPOCS) and technical intermediaries such as transit operators and content delivery networks (CDN).
In light of the information that is publicly available and ARCEP's early efforts in this arena, data conveyance and interconnection markets do not appear to require the introduction of ex ante regulation at this stage. Nevertheless, only in-depth and regularly updated knowledge of these markets, and of the players' complex and ever-evolving practices, can ensure their proper technical and economic operation over the long term. This knowledge of the markets and the stakeholders must also prepare ARCEP to properly exercise its power to settle disputes between operators and PPOCS, as assigned to it by Law.
It is under these circumstances that today ARCEP is publishing a decision on gathering information on the technical and pricing terms governing interconnection and routing. The authority had already outlined the underlying principles of such a campaign in September 2010 (1), in its proposals on Internet and network neutrality.
ARCEP will also address the issue of interconnection and routing between Internet companies in its report to Parliament on Internet and network neutrality, which will be subject to public consultation in the coming weeks, before being submitted to Parliament and the Government in early summer.
- Scope and frequency of the information gathering campaigns
This information gathering pertains specifically to the terms of interconnection and routing that could have an impact on the French market. ARCEP is in favour of a practical approach to the information gathering process: it will therefore initially involve electronic communications operators required to declare themselves with the Authority, which will enable a better understanding of the data conveyance and interconnection relationship they have with other internet companies.
This questionnaire will be sent out:
1. periodically, on a quarterly basis, to electronic communications operators required to declare themselves with ARCEP in accordance with Article L. 33-1 of the French Postal and electronic communications code (CPCE);
2. in a targeted fashion on occasion, when ARCEP considers it necessary, to electronic communications operators that have an interconnection relationship with at least one electronic communications operator that falls into the first category, and to PPOCS which have a direct relationship in the area of traffic routing with at least one electronic communications operator from category 1, and which have actively taken steps to have their services or content used or accessed by end users located in France.
Responses to the first questionnaire, i.e. from electronic communications operators belonging to the first category, are due to be received in August 2012.
NB: The French version of the decision is the sole authentic. This English version is provided for information.
(1) http://www.arcep.fr/uploads/tx_gspublication/net-neutralite-orientations-sept2010.pdf (pdf - 747 Ko)
ARCEP decision n° 2012-0366 (pdf - 429 Ko) (English version - pdf) / Appendix (zip - 48 Ko)(English version - zip)
Summary of the public consultation (pdf - 270 Ko) (in French - pdf)
Players Contributions (zip - 2.97 Mo) (Association des Sites Internet Communautaires, Association Française des Utilisateurs de Télécommunications, AT&T, Bouygues Telecom, Cable & Wireless, Cogent Communications, Dailymotion, France Télécom Orange, Free, Google, London Internet Exchange, SFR, Teliasonera International Carrier, Verizon France, VON Europe) (in French - zip - 3 Mo)