ARCEP's sanctioning power restored and regulations governing indoor fibre installations clarified

Paris, 14 March 2014

The Government order on the digital economy, which was published on 12th March, contains two sections that concern ARCEP.

  • First, this order draws conclusions on the decision of 5 July 2013, wherein the Constitutional Council considered the legal provisions concerning ARCEP's power to impose sanctions in the electronic communications sector to be unconstitutional.

ARCEP welcomes the adoption of this order which introduces a new sanctions procedure in the postal and electronic communications sectors, based on the CNIL (French data protection authority) model whose constitutionality has been validated by the Conseil d'Etat, France's highest administrative court.

The new provisions in the French Postal and electronic communications code introduce a separation of the proceedings and the adjudication functions by assigning them to different members of the ARCEP Executive Board. It is thus envisaged that a body composed of four Board members, including the Chairman of ARCEP, will adopt decisions on formal notices, investigations, dispute settlements and inquiries, and that a body composed of the Board's three other members will adopt decisions concerning sanctions.

The terms of application for this new sanctions procedure will be specified in an upcoming decree.

ARCEP's ability to impose sanctions is a fundamental part of its ability to perform its duties, guaranteeing that operators comply as much with existing laws and regulations, as with the decisions that ARCEP issues in the exercise of its regulatory powers.

  • Second, the order simplifies and improves the legal framework governing the indoor installations of fibre to the home (FttH) networks. Following through on the work that ARCEP performed in 2012, and the recommendations the Authority published in 2013, the provisions contained in the order specify the building (co)owner(s) and the operator's respective responsibilities. It also expands the field of application for connection procedures to all types of shared residential premises, buildings or subdivisions.

ARCEP is pleased with these changes, which will help accelerate superfast network rollouts nationwide.

Linked documents

Order No. 2014-329 (pdf - 97 Ko) (in French only)

ARCEP decision n° 2014-0191 (pdf - 392 Ko) (in French only)