Paris, 11 July 2002
In ruling on the dispute between Free Telecom and France Telecom, ART has set the conditions for determining sales of so-called "free" dial-up Internet access. This type of access is offered by Internet service providers (ISPs) to their clients who do not pay a subscription fee, but are billed by France Telecom for each minute spent on line for local Internet calls.
In the interconnection plan underlying these formulas, France Telecom invoices and receives payment for Internet access calls for the operator which collects the traffic. France Telecom then pays each operator an amount equal to the average revenue per minute of all Internet calls.
At the source of the dispute, Free Telecom considered that the elements used to calculate the average revenue for the year 2000 were not pertinent with respect to the characteristics of the traffic it collects, and it demanded that France Telecom pays it the revenues effectively generated by the collection of its traffic.
In its ruling, ART acknowledged that the global parameters used by France Telecom in calculating the average revenue might lead to France Telecom paying the operator an amount significantly different from the average revenue effectively generated by its traffic.
As a result, ART decided that beginning 30 November 2002, France Telecom will have to determine the local Internet price for Internet dial-up access traffic on an operator-by-operator basis, applying a breakdown key between the residential and business markets to take into account the specific nature of each. At least twice a year, France Telecom will also submit to each operator the elements used to calculate its average revenue.
Until France Telecom applies this method, ART has set the average revenue for Internet access traffic invoiced at the local Internet price for 2001 at €0.0229. This amount was obtained using traffic data provided by France Telecom, applying a breakdown key between the residential and business markets, representative of interconnection traffic.
ART decision no. 02-511 (pdf - 81 Ko)