Paris, 13 July 2018
The Digital Republic Act, which was adopted in October 2016, seeks to foster access to telephone services for people who are deaf, hearing impaired, deaf-blind or aphasic by enabling them to communicate with any other telephone service subscriber.
To this end, it stipulates that operators must provide a simultaneous written and visual translation service (in French sign language, cued speech, communication methods adapted to deafblindness and aphasia) starting in October 2018.
This service must be made available at no extra charge and, initially, from Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 7 pm, excluding bank holidays, and give users access to one hour of translation a month that is adapted to their disability, to make and receive calls.
In the Decision (1) it is publishing today, Arcep imposes the following obligations on operators for each type of simultaneous text or visual translation:
- Measure indicators on the use and quality of the translation service, and transmit them to Arcep;
- And, for some indicators, comply with certain minimum quality requirements.
Indicators that are representative of the user experience
There are four use indicators that make it possible to measure how heavily the service is being used: number of unique users, number of conversations held, length of the conversations and call load for each hour of the day.
Quality indicators make it possible to assess the service's efficiency from the end users' point of view. They focus on three areas in particular: the service's availability, waiting time before being put through to a translator, and the satisfaction of the users who will be asked to evaluate the service provided to them, using a rating system.
Quality thresholds adapted to the launch stage
As stated in its previous Opinion on 28 March 2017 (2), when setting quality requirements Arcep took into account uncertainties tied, first, to end-user demand and, second, the ability to hire enough trained translators to meet this demand.
Which is why Arcep has chosen to set a minimum availability requirement for the service of 99%, and a rate for being put through to a translator within three minutes of 70%.
These indicators and minimum quality requirements are not final, and likely to be reviewed by Arcep if it deems it necessary, once the service is up and running.