Paris, 30 June 2010
For several years now, ARCEP has been engaged in global efforts to monitor the quality of service being supplied by telecom operators (mobile services, directory services, universal service) and to improve the information available to consumers by providing them with elements of comparison.
Following a public consultation, on 4 December 2008 the Authority issued a decision that required all operators who provide a fixed service to residential subscribers to measure quality of service indicators defined by ETSI, the European telecommunications standards institute.
Fixed telcos with a base of more than 100,000 residential customers are required to publish the results of quality of service measurements.
Starting on 30 June 2010, all operators who are supplying more than 100,000 customers with a telephone service (via the PSTN, ADSL, cable, etc.) are obligated to provide the public with the results of these measurements on their website, on a quarterly basis.
These measurements are accompanied by a summary description of the indicators, of a document that describes the measurement system employed by the operator and an account of the certification obtained from an independent organization concerning the accuracy of the measurements and their compliance with the stipulations laid out in the ARCEP decision.
Measurements that are not consistent with the repository system will not be published, but the operator concerned will be required to make a commitment to ARCEP on a timeframe for providing a standards compliant version of these measurements so that they can be published with the next quarterly indicators.
The list of the indicators measured, which are divided into two categories, can be enhanced with subsequent publications :
- six main indicators concern access to the operator’s network : dturnaround time for supplying the initial connection, rate of outage reported per access line, fault repair time, customer service response time, complaints over invoice accuracy and the rate of single-call complaint resolution by the operator’s customer service department;
- three indicators concern the quality of the telephone service : call failure rate, call setup time and voice quality.
This first publication marks an important stage in the implementation of these quality of service indicators. The Authority is pleased by the concentrated work performed by the operators and the Fédération française des télécoms (French telecoms federation) over the past two years, which has included the establishment of rules of professional conduct aimed at ensuring that operators are consistent and transparent in the publication and communication of their QoS indicators. ARCEP nevertheless points out that the measurement of certain parameters concerning access can lead to results that are difficult to compare, due to differences in the operators’ organization, work methods and information systems. Future publications should gradually improve the comparability of these results, and eventually provide consumers with relevant information that will allow them to monitor the evolution of a given operator’s quality of service indicators over time, for instance.
The indicators for the first quarter of 2010 can be accessed on the ARCEP website through a direct link on the web page dedicated to monitoring QoS indicators for fixed telephony services (by clicking on each operator’s logo).
(1) ARCEP Decision n° 2008-1362 of 4 December 2008 (pdf - 254 Ko) was published in the official gazette of 19 February 2009.