Arcep updates its March 2012 decision on net neutrality

27 Mar 2014

French telecoms watchdog the Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (Arcep) has updated its earlier decision on the gathering of information relating to the routing of data traffic, which was first published in March 2012. According to a press release, the amendment introduces two main changes to the system established in 2012: it distinguishes the installed and configured capacity on each interconnection link covered by the decision, and allows Arcep to request additional information on a periodical basis, to enable it to assess the scale of a presumed traffic overload on certain interconnection links. The updated document will take effect from 2H 2014.

The regulator pointed out that the new legislation is based on information gathered in 2012 and 2013, and an inquiry that Arcep conducted between November 2012 and July 2013 into interconnection between Iliad and Google. Further, the decision was challenged by US carriers AT&T and Verizon and their French subsidiaries in April 2013, although France’s State Council (Conseil d’Etat) rejected the appeal, recognising the jurisdiction of the regulator Arcep to collect the required information on interconnection and the routing of data, and examine all market players, regardless of their country of origin.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in July 2013 Arcep decided to close its investigation into the technical and financial conditions for the routing of traffic between Free Mobile and Google, confirming that its examination of possible discriminatory practices did not yield any concrete evidence of improper behaviour. The investigation was prompted by a September 2012 complaint by consumer association UFC-Que Choisir, which alleged that access to Google’s YouTube website was restricted to Free’s subscribers. After a six-month monitoring process Arcep established that data traffic flowed freely both directly, and indirectly – via international data interconnection agreements, but will continue to keep an eye on the players involved in a bid to achieve greater transparency.

France, Arcep