Paris, 25 March 2016
Today, ARCEP is publishing its response to the Government decree on the information made available to consumers regarding the technical features of internet access products. The purpose of this decree, which was published this morning, is to define the term "fibre" as it is used in operators' sales and marketing material for their superfast internet plans.
Today, competition is fierce between France's leading ISPs in the fixed superfast access offers. This market is no longer in the start-up phase and is truly beginning to take off, with more and more subscribers making the transition from a high-speed to a very high-speed plan. The tremendous competition in this market is coupled with a period of heavy investment which, in the country's densely populated areas, has translated in massive optical fibre rollouts in the streets, with different connection options (fibre or coaxial cable) in the last mile and the last metres.
Given the current situation, in its opinion ARCEP indicated that it was in favour of the Government's adoption of a decree that would make it possible to provide consumers with better information on the products that were available in the marketplace, and on their features, both before and after they subscribe to a plan.
ARCEP welcomes the changes that have been made to the draft decree since its earlier version, notably to take into consideration the remarks the Authority made in its opinion on the need to strengthen the information provided on upload speeds, given the growing emphasis on symmetrical traffic.
The Authority also salutes the Government's desire to inform users' choices, and so to contribute to the trust and transparency that are vital to supporting investments in superfast access networks.