Paris, 26 November 2010, Today, ARCEP is submitting to public consultation thirty proposals whose aim is to improve the offers that Internet service providers (ISPs), fixed and mobile electronic communications operators and postal operators deliver to consumers. These 30 proposals are intended to ensure that consumers are able to make an informed choice when subscribing to a service, as much in terms of the quality of the services being offered as their price.
The Authority’s responsibilities to consumers
In the area of postal affairs, ARCEP’s responsibilities in support of consumers are set by law and were recently expanded to include processing consumer complaints, starting on 1 January 2011. The Authority is also responsible for ensuring compliance with universal service obligations.
Preliminary discussions which began in early 2010
These proposals mark the culmination of wide-reaching discussions that ARCEP has been engaged in since the start of the year with operators, consumer associations, 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) and other European regulatory authorities.
Some of the proposals constitute only a reiteration, an interpretation or the enforcement of existing provisions, so are to be put into effect immediately.
The others are new measures, and correspond in particular to recommendations aimed at operators or public authorities, and may require a commitment from vendors. Unlike the first category of proposals, to become mandatory they require amendments be made to the existing legal framework – which will occur, in part, with the transposition into law of the Telecom package of 2009.
Twenty-three proposals concern electronic communications services
- They pertain to:
- the transparency of offers,
- market liquidity,
- the quality and availability of services,
- the particular case of value-added services (e.g. numbers starting with 08),
- providing people with disabilities with access to electronic communications services.
Seven proposal concern postal services
They pertain to:
- complaint processing procedures,
- complying with universal service obligations and obligations concerning postal activities,
- the role of the La Poste stamp,
- the principle of equal value of the registered mail from all postal operators.
Final proposals will be established following consultation Stakeholders are invited to submit their remarks before 5 p.m. on 14 January 2011. In particular, ARCEP is calling on operators and their federations to indicate the voluntary commitments they are willing to make with respect to these proposals. To this end, ARCEP will be holding a series of meetings with all of the stakeholders, concurrent to the public consultation. Once the public consultation and the meetings have been completed, ARCEP will publish its definitive proposals, notably those involving voluntary commitments from the players. Among other things, these proposals will constitute guidelines for the Authority in the performance of its duties when carrying out existing or future responsibilities, in particular those assigned to it as the result of the transposition into law of the Telecom package of 2009.
This document is available (in French) on the ARCEP website: www.arcep.fr.