Arcep regains power to sanction; indoor FTTH installation regulations clarified

17 Mar 2014

France’s Constitutional Council (Conseil d’Etat) has restored the power of telecoms watchdog the Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (Arcep) to ensure implementation of its decisions and enforce sanctions. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the Council stripped the watchdog of its authority to sanction telecoms operators in July 2013, as it considered that the telecoms regulator was in non-compliance with the French Constitution’s principle of separation of power. According to a press release, a new sanctioning procedure will be introduced in the electronic communications sectors, based on the French data protection authority Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertes’ (CNIL’s) model, while its constitutionality will be validated by the Conseil d’Etat. Under the new provisions, different members of the Arcep executive board will be assigned different tasks in order to ensure that the principle of separating investigative and sanctioning powers is met. A body comprising four board members, including the chairman of Arcep, will adopt decisions on formal notices, investigations, dispute settlements and inquiries, while the remaining three board members will make decisions on sanctions.

Meanwhile, the decision also simplifies and improves the legal framework governing the indoor installation of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) networks; the provisions set out by the order specify the respective responsibilities of the building owners and the operators.

France, Arcep