Paris, 23 July 2007
Arcep’s legal obligation
The Law of 9 July 2004 on electronic communications and audiovisual broadcast services incorporated the principle that agreements between local authorities and cable operators should be brought in line with the current legislative framework.
In the absence of a consensus among the players involved as to how this principle should be interpreted, the Law of 5 March 2007 concerning the modernisation of audiovisual broadcasting and the television of the future sought to clarify the process needed in order to bring these agreements in line with legislation*.
In particular, this law required the Autorité de Régulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (Arcep) to produce a public report:
- ascertaining the current state of play as far as the compliance of these agreements is concerned;
- differentiating between the various legal categories of the agreements; and
- issuing recommendations aimed at procuring the compliance of these agreements with the law.
Publication of the report
As required by this law, ARCEP has today published its report on the statutory compliance of cable agreements.
This report is the result of work carried out in collaboration with the players concerned, and is also based on the legal study conducted by Emmanuel Glaser, a member of the French Supreme Administrative Court, the Conseil d’État, which can be found on the ARCEP’s website. It also takes into account the players’ contributions to the public consultation on the draft version of the report, which took place between 22 June and 6 July 2007.
* Amended Article 134 of Law No. 2004-669 of 9 July 2004 stipulates the following:
"Agreements concluded with local authorities or groups of local authorities relating to the construction and operation of cable networks which were already in effect on the date of entry into force of Article L.33-1 of the Post and Electronic Communications Code, as well as the specifications associated with these agreements, must be brought into compliance with the provisions of this article within a period of two years from the date of publication of the decree implementing this article.
In order to ensure that the principle of equality and free competition on the electronic communications market is respected, the terms of this compliance are designed to guarantee shared usage of public civil engineering infrastructures by electronic communications operators.
Within four months of the promulgation of Law No. 2007-309 of 5 March 2007, concerning the modernisation of audiovisual broadcasting and the television of the future, the Autorité de Régulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes is required to draw up a public report on the progress of this compliance process. This report must also differentiate between the various legal categories of agreement in existence and must issue recommendations concerning the procedure to be followed in order to procure the compliance of these agreements with the law.
The local authorities or groups of authorities and the service distributors may notify the Autorité de Régulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes of any difficulties encountered in bringing these agreements into compliance, as stipulated in the first paragraph of this article. The Authority may publish its conclusions on the mediation process within four months of notification of these problems, except where subject to commercial confidentiality."
The following documents can be downloaded :
The report on the statutory compliance of cable agreements (pdf (pdf - 0.96 Mo) - )
The legal study conducted by Emmanuel Glaser, member of the Conseil d’État, at the request of the Autorité de Régulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes, relating to the nature of the agreements concluded between the local authorities and the cable operators, as well as the impact of the Law of 9 July 2004 on existing agreements (pdf (pdf - 222 Ko)- )
The contributions to the public consultation by the players concerned (zip 2,6 Mo (zip - 2.74 Mo) - )
The draft report which was the subject of the public consultation (pdf (pdf - 290 Ko)- )