Details on the formal notification procedure used by ARCEP

Paris, 24 december 2009

Following the letters of formal notice that were issued by ARCEP concerning 3G mobile coverage, we have received a number of requests for further details on this procedure.

Having established that an operator may have failed to meet certain obligations to which it is subject, by virtue of the French postal and electronic communications code, CPCE (code des postes et communications électroniques), or a frequency allocation decision, ARCEP can decide to put Article L.36-11 of the CPCE into application. The procedure then involves two distinct stages.

After having received explanations from the operator, and if the failure in question continues, ARCEP will not impose a penalty immediately. During this first stage, it can only issue the operator with a formal notice to meet its obligations within a certain timeframe.

It is only once the operator has failed to comply with the order within that timeframe, and after having informed the operator of the grievance and met with its representatives, that the ARCEP Executive Board can decide, depending on the particular circumstances of the case, to impose a penalty.

The letters of formal notice that ARCEP issued recently therefore correspond to the first stage of the procedure.


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