Paris, 25 June 2015
On 24 June 2015, which coincided with the publication of the authority's annual report for 2014, NUMA welcomed ARCEP to kick off its strategic review.
In this era of the Internet of Things, increasingly digital enterprises and the open Web, ARCEP is conducting an in-depth examination of its priorities. This review will help establish a new hierarchy for the issues the authority addresses, while taking into account the challenges of building tomorrow's digital France, the new responsibilities assigned to the Authority by law and upcoming European regulations, as well as the resources that ARCEP has been allocated.
This review will concern ARCEP's priorities and not its responsibilities, as those are stipulated by law. Another aim for the Authority is to help realise the "exemplary" State initiatives laid out by the Prime Minister on 18 June 2015, and to ensure that regulation contributes to the country's digital strategy in the most efficient way possible.
To continue to improve its ability to carry out its duties as regulator, the new priorities will be structured along three lines:
- regulation that seeks to ensure competitive digital networks, making private and public investment a priority;
- regulation that rises to the challenges of the digital era and prepares France for the future;
- an independent regulator that works in a fluid and collaborative fashion with the regulatory ecosystem.
Preparing a strategic roadmap
This process will span the second half of 2015 and conclude with a strategic roadmap, which will be submitted to consultation late in the year, with a view to adopting it in 2016.
To give the initiative the greatest possible chances of success, the examination process will turn first to ARCEP agents who are experts in the area of regulation. It will also include close collaboration with institutions and concerned stakeholders.
In addition to the fundamental work being performed, the review will help change the way one thinks about regulation and how it is established in the digital era, giving priority to self-regulation and collaborative approaches.
Update on the 2015 work programme
With digital economy stakeholders in attendance, at the press conference ARCEP also provided an update on some of the work that is currently underway.
1. Support system for postal delivery of press items
ARCEP is contributing to work being done by the Government on creating a new support system for the postal delivery of press items, following the "Schwartz agreements". In response to a request from ministers Emmanuel Macron, Michel Sapin and Fleur Pellerin, on 15 July 2015 ARCEP will deliver its opinion on the current cost of fulfilling this public service mandate. Françoise Benhamou will draft the Authority's opinion and will link with the work assigned to Mr Emmanuel Giannesini.
2. Internet of things and smart cities
ARCEP is beginning a series of hearings and interviews with a view to mapping out the regulatory challenges created by the Internet of Things and smart cities. This open process will be coordinated by the "Internet of Things" project leader, Guillaume Mellier, and will solicit input from all of interested parties in the public sector. These hearings will take place during the second half of 2015, and will make it possible to identify the challenges that will need to be met to help see this revolution through. A complete report will be published roughly one year from now.
3. Mobile network sharing
In accordance with the Macron Act, ARCEP is entering into a dialogue with the interested operators over the two mobile network sharing agreements that are currently in the works. The goal is to analyse the contracts and, if applicable, their future terms and conditions, with respect to regulatory objectives and the analytical framework laid out by the Competition authority. The dialogue will be chaired by Marie-Laure Denis and Philippe Distler. ARCEP will deliver an interim report on this work in the autumn, and guidelines will be established in the first quarter of 2016.
4. Public initiative FttH network pricing
In accordance with the Macron Act, ARCEP will hold a public consultation in September 2015 on draft guidelines for public initiative fibre network access prices, with a view to adopting them before the end of the year.
5. Legacy copper network access prices
Between now and October 2015, ARCEP will propose a price cap for 2016 and 2017 on wholesale access prices for the legacy copper network. Parallel work is also being done on revising the regulatory framework to establish a price cap for 2018 to 2020, synchronised with the next round of analysis of the broadband and superfast broadband market.
6. Dialogue with businesses
ARCEP wants to gain a deeper understanding of the needs of enterprises, and particularly small and medium size businesses, and to adapt regulation affecting enterprise markets insofar as necessary. In the same vein as the consumer committee and GRACO (a discussion forum between ARCEP, local authorities and operators), a discussion forum open to businesses and their representatives, along with workers in the field that are in contact with them, will be created. Pierre-Jean Benghozi will set up the body, with a view to launching it in late 2015.
7. Cooperation with CNIL
ARCEP will work with data protection authority CNIL to develop best practices for telecom operators in the area of managing business data. The aim is create a set of guidelines for the telecom sector, in line with the "packs de conformité" industry handbooks initiated by CNIL. Martine Lombard will head up this action plan for ARCEP.
8. Informing the public about networks
ARCEP is rolling out an initiative to provide the public with better and more detailed information about coverage and the quality of digital networks. The aim is to develop a collaborative approach, where one of ARCEP's tasks could be to qualify the tests performed by third-party observers or through crowdsourcing. Jacques Stern will establish a roadmap to this end, which ARCEP is expected to adopt in January 2016.
9. European issues
ARCEP will make an active contribution to the definition and success of Europe's "Digital Single Market" strategy. To this end, ARCEP will increase its presence within the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) and lend its expertise to the French government as part of the planned upcoming review of the Telecoms Package. Once European regulation on the "Digital Single Market" has been adopted - which is expected to be in the near future - ARCEP will also participate in drafting the implementing legislation that will be tasked to BEREC, and in putting these texts into law in France.