Paris, 30 May 2017
A bridge between billions of human beings, and tomorrow between even more machines and things, the internet has unleashed an unprecedented freedom of communication, information and innovation. A centrepiece of economic, social and government life, the internet has become a "common good" which must meet high performance standards, and remain neutral.
Despite its decentralised structure, the internet has given rise to new intermediaries along the chain that connects users to content and applications, and who are capable of undermining its openness.
Aware of this new state of affairs, lawmakers in Europe and France have considerably strengthened the provisions aimed at guaranteeing an open internet, and have given the regulator the powers it needs to tackle these new challenges. Arcep thus works to guarantee that no economic force is in a position to control or curb users' ability to exchange information.
Maintain an open internet
This then is the backdrop to Arcep's first report on the state of the internet in France. Architect and guardian of communication networks, Arcep has made protecting an open internet one of its four strategic priorities. The Authority's report focuses on those threats that could undermine the internet's proper functioning and neutrality, and sets out the regulator's actions to contain these threats.
The report on the State of the internet in France thus provides a detailed snapshot of:
o the quality of internet access services?
o data interconnection?o the deployment of IPv6?
o net neutrality?
o platform openness, with particular focus on devices.
Looking beyond the current legal framework, Arcep wanted to expand its investigation to include platforms, these new intermediaries, and zero in on one issue in particular: the openness of devices. To this end, it is also publishing a report on the ways in which devices can influence users' ability to access the internet.
Two round tables to dialogue with stakeholders
The report and the study were presented by Arcep Chair, Sébastien Soriano, in the company of Arcep's teams, on the premises of La Paillasse, the network of collaborative, open-source interdisciplinary laboratories, on Tuesday, 30 May 2017. Two roundtables moderated by Arcep Board members, Françoise Benhamou and Philippe Distler, provided an opportunity to discuss the issues with stakeholders:
> 1st round table/Quality of service and net neutrality, with La quadrature du net (Benjamin Bayart), le GESTE (Corinne Denis) and AFNIC (Stéphane Bortzmeyer)
> 2nd round table/Interconnection, IPv6 and open devices, with Nexedi (Jean-Paul Smets), France IX (Franck Simon) and ISOC (Nicolas Chany)