Digital

Future Network

Arcep calls on stakeholders to join the debate on the social issues raised by telecom network developments


Arcep’s mission is to ensure that networks develop as a common good. Today the role of new technologies in our society is being challenged more than ever before. Which is why Arcep is committed to listening to the questions being raised, and providing a forum for meaningful debate.

In an interview with Le Monde on 14 January, Arcep Chair, Sébastien Soriano, said that: "5G is ushering us into a techno-political era, which will require us to make societal choices”. Little by little, 5G “will be enhanced by new features which will make this new infrastructure the cornerstone of a major technological shift that will affect the whole of society”. “There is a schism today between techno-utopians and techno-sceptics. The question is not whether we are for or against technology, but rather what we want to do with it and how we can ensure that it develops as a common good.”

Hosting a debate on future networks and their role in society: Arcep will provide its value-added as a neutral expert on the sector

As a neutral expert on the sector, Arcep is keen to help foster discussions on these issue. To this end, it will be hosting a day of discussions in early June on the topic: “2030: Which networks for which sort of society?” Debates will focus on a range of societal issues created by fixed and mobile network developments (5G, the Internet of Things, virtualisation, artificial intelligence...) including the environment, sovereignty, accessibility, privacy, EMF, freedom of choice…

In the meantime, over the coming months Arcep’s Executive Board and its departments will be querying the many industry stakeholders and public sector bodies concerned. Arcep will also engage in a dialogue with telcos on these various topics, and implement a regular information gathering campaign on priority, and particularly environmental, issues.

The work of Arcep’s Scientific Committee to serve as a springboard

Back in September 2018, Arcep began a new cycle of inquiry to anticipate how networks are likely to evolve over the next five to ten years, to prepare for upcoming regulatory challenges, and to steer its actions accordingly. With the help of a Scientific Committee, Arcep was thus able to explore some ten topics, ranging from connected cars to dynamic spectrum management, from network virtualisation to digital tech’s carbon footprint, by way of smart farming and smart territories. These expert briefs, all of which are available on the Arcep website, will serve as a springboard for upcoming discussions. Readers are welcome to provide feedback on these briefs by writing to: reseaux-du-futur(@)arcep.fr. An eighth brief, on the topic of network virtualisation, will be published soon.