Progress report on the administrative enquiries that ARCEP launched into Orange concerning the operator's compliance with its universal service and enterprise product obligations

Paris, December 10th

Having noted that certain quality of service indicators being reported by the firm Orange, which provides the universal telephone service in France, did not meet the objectives laid out for the carrier, along with a decrease in the quality of wholesale products aimed at the enterprise market, on 27 May 2014 ARCEP launched two administrative enquiries into the decrease in service quality in these two market segments.

The aim of these enquiries was to gather all of the information needed to allow the Authority to analyse the causes of the situation, and to assess whether the actions taken by Orange would lead to a rapid improvement in the quality of its services.

The operator reported that both exogenous (such as poor weather conditions) and endogenous (the need for more service calls than forecast, due to an unexpected rise in demand for retail and wholesale access line creation) factors led to a temporary decline in the status quo.

A number of exchanges have occurred on this topic over the past few months between Orange and ARCEP departments. ARCEP staff has collected information in the field during visits with technicians on service calls. Most significantly, these exchanges resulted in Orange delivering a plan to ARCEP on 4 November 2014 to improve the quality of the services provided on its wireline networks, and which is broken down into three parts:

- A short-term action plan to achieve a rapid improvement in service quality by the end of January, thanks to a massive reduction in production and signalling backlogs for all of the products provided on the wireline network. This plan includes providing service units with additional resources, both budgetary and thanks to additional staff.

- A medium-term action plan to improve service quality on the network in lasting fashion, and to anticipate all future decreases in quality of service. This plan includes increasing preventative maintenance budgets and ensuring ongoing improvements to processes.

- An information and awareness campaign aimed at local authorities. Among other things, the purpose of this part of the plan is to strengthen the carrier's communication on changes to its network, and to increase collaboration on detecting and repairing malfunctions, particularly during natural disasters (major storms, floods, etc.).

ARCEP has taken note of the commitments Orange has made to improve the quality of its wireline products, which were reiterated in letter that the President and CEO of Orange, Stéphane Richard, sent to ARCEP Chairman, Jean Ludovic Silicani, on 28 November 2014.

ARCEP will nevertheless remain vigilant to ensure that these plans are truly put into effect, and that they produce lasting results. ARCEP departments are monitoring the action plans that are already underway, and continue to hold multilateral meetings devoted specifically to the enterprise market. The effect that these measures have had on service quality will be verified in 2015. In the meantime, the Authority is keeping these two enquiries open.

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