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Net Neutrality

Last update 26th June 2018


- 5 June 2018: For the second year in a row, Arcep is publishing its report on the "state of the internet in France". Submitted to Parliament, this report focuses on the different components of fixed and mobile internet networks: quality of service, interconnection, IPv6, net neutrality and the openness of devices. Based on the idea of "a complete check-up," Arcep delivers a "diagnosis" of the year gone by, and identifies the "shock therapies" or "preventive medicine" that need to be employed. The goal: to ensure that the network of networks that is the internet remains an inclusive public resource.
Press release
Everything you need to know about net neutrality debates
The state of the Internet in France

- 15 February 2018: « Smartphones, tablets, voice assistants - Devices: weak link in achieving open internet access ». Arcep publishes a complete report, and suggests courses of action to guarantee an open internet, end to end.
Press release
The report
VoD of the press conference


- 29 September 2017: "Smartphones, tablets, voice assistants… Are devices the weak link in achieving an open internet?". Arcep creates a dedicated team and launches a series workshops / Press release

- 19 September 2017: BEREC publishes study on Net Neutrality regulation in Chile, India and USA. The objective of this study is to examine the approach taken by NRAs in selected non-European benchmark countries (Chile, India and USA) to address net-neutrality issues / Press release

- 28 July 2017: Sébastien Soriano, President of Arcep, conducted a prospective exercise on the future of the Internet with Usbek & Rica magazine / Read the interview (in French)

- 17 July 2017 : Sébastien Soriano, Arcep Chairman and BEREC Chair for 2017, gives a speech on net neutrality at the "Digital-born Media Carnival" in Kotor, Montenegro / The Speech

- 30 May 2017 : At a press conference and debate held at La Paillasse in Paris, Arcep examines the potential threats to an open internet, and the actions it is taking to curb those threats, all of which are detailed in a maiden report on the state of the internet in France. In its report, Arcep provides a state of the art on the quality of internet access services, the transition to IPv6 and the data interconnection market, on which it is publishing a set of figures for the very first time (breakdown of traffic between the top four ISPs' networks, peering vs. transit, paid vs. free peering, etc.). It also delivers a progress report on Arcep's net neutrality roadmap, and particularly on its diagnostic tools, and announces the launch of a dedicated reporting platform in 2017 that allows users to relay issues as they arise. As a parallel measure, Arcep is also publishing its first report on how devices influence internet openness /

• Press release on the state of the internet in France; four-page report synopsis
> English version
> En Français

Press release on devices' influence on internet openness
> English version
> En Français


- 21 October 2016: Arcep devotes itself to enforcing European open internet rules, and publishes a French version of BEREC guidelines on the matter/Press release/French translation of BEREC guidelines

- 10 October 2016: The Digital Republic Act strengthens Arcep's powers. It opens the way to new forms of regulation, and gives Arcep the responsibility of safeguarding net neutrality/Press release

- 7 October 2016: following the adoption of European open internet regulation and BEREC guidelines, the Digital Republic Act introduces the principle of net neutrality into national law, and endows Arcep with investigatory and sanctioning powers to ensure compliance. Arcep will thus be in a position to fully meet its responsibilities as the custodian of net neutrality (Article 40)/Arcep press release

- 30 August 2016: after a record level of response to its public consultation this summer - eliciting close to 500,000 contributions - BEREC publishes guidelines that aim to provide national regulatory authorities (NRAs) with a clear roadmap for enforcing European open internet regulation. Regulators are being called upon to serve as net neutrality's watchdogs, enforcing operators' compliance and, if necessary, imposing penalties when breaches occur. Once ratified, the Digital Republic Act will invest Arcep with the full investigatory and sanctioning powers it needs to enforce net neutrality.
- BEREC press release and key details of the guidelines (in English)
- Arcep press release (in English)

- 6 June 2016: BEREC publishes the draft of its net neutrality guidelines for consultation, which will run until 18 July 2016, with a view to their publication in late August 2016. The purpose of these guidelines is to clarify the implementation procedure for the European open internet regulation adopted by the European Parliament and Council on 25 November 2015/BEREC press release/Arcep press release

- 11 May 2016: Arcep hosts a workshop on the new regulatory framework for an open internet/Press release.


- 26 November 2015: publication of regulation (EU) 2015/2120 of the European Parliament and Council of 25 November 2015, laying down measures concerning open internet access and amending Directive 2002/22/EC on universal service and users' rights relating to electronic communications networks and services and Regulation (EU) No 531/2012 on roaming on public mobile communications networks within the Union
- Regulation published in the Official Journal of the EU

- 7 October 2015: Arcep publishes its advice to the Government on measuring the use being made of bandwidth on internet access networks in France/Press release/opinion/English version of the opinion

- 28 September 2015: Arcep Chairman, Sébastien Soriano, is the guest on Jean Leymarie's "Interview éco" programme on France Info/Watch the interview

- 25 September 2015: Arcep Chairman, Sébastien Soriano, gives an interview on net neutrality on France Culture: 'The challenge is to enable real oversight, which is why our powers will be expanded.'/The interview

- 21 September 2015: Arcep publishes a state of the art report on net neutrality regulation. The aim of the document is to deliver a concise status report on the regulatory framework, prior to the adoption of European regulation and national legislative provisions. To be as informative as possible, four fact sheets have been produced on the main points addressed by the new framework: traffic management, commercial practices, optimised services that are distinct from internet access and the quality of internet access services. Each of these fact sheets explains the underlying issues, and sets them in the context of the current situation in France. They also detail what will change as a result of the new European regulation. Arcep Chairman, Sébastien Soriano, answers questions from 01 net/Document and fact sheets/English version (4 December 2015)/Interview with 01 net - 30 June 2015: Arcep welcomes the agreement reached by European institutions/Press release

- 28 February 2015: 'In France as well, we want a single-lane internet' Arcep Chairman, Sébastien Soriano, answers questions from La Tribune/The interview

- 17 February 2015: In September 2014, the Prime Minister tasked France's Digital Council/Conseil National du Numérique (CNNum) to host a wide-ranging debate on the digital issues and challenges that French society is facing. As the digital networks regulator, Arcep wanted to participate in the event, and contribute to several topics: digital sovereignty, fairness between economic stakeholders and net neutrality/Press release/Arcep's contribution on net neutrality.


- 4 December 2014: Arcep Chairman, Jean-Ludovic Silicani, was interviewed by the National Assembly's Assessment and Proposal Committee on "rights and freedoms in the digital age", on the topic of network neutrality.

- 24 October 2014: "The underlying principles that drive the internet and the networks", editorial by Arcep Chairman, Jean-Ludovic Silicani, in weekly newsletter No. 165

- 26 March 2014: Arcep updates its decision of March 2012 on gathering information on interconnection and data routing on the internet/Press release

- 29 January 2014: Arcep notes the solid progress that the firm IP Label is making in installing the first sensors for measuring the quality of fixed internet access services. The QoS measurement system was introduced by the Arcep decision of 29 January 2013/More information in weekly newsletter No. 138.


- 12 December 2013: Arcep launches a public consultation, which will run until 13 January 2014, on a draft decision amending its previous Decision No. 2012-0366 on the introduction of quarterly information gathering campaigns on the technical and pricing terms and conditions governing interconnection and data routing/Draft decision/Annex (questionnaire and instructions)

- 19 July 2013: Arcep delivers the conclusions of its administrative inquiry into data traffic routing between Free and Google/Press release

- 10 July 2013: The Conseil d'Etat backs up Arcep's powers to regulate interconnection and data routing markets, and confirms its ability to query all of the players in these markets, including those located outside the European Union/Press release

- 25 March 2013: Arcep introduces a system for measuring and tracking the quality of fixed internet access services. The goal is to improve the information available to internet users, and to give Arcep the means to fulfil its duty to supervise the overall quality of fixed calling and internet access services/Press release


- 12 December 2012: Arcep publishes its decision of 22 November 2012, opening an administrative inquiry into the technical and financial terms and conditions governing traffic routing between Google and Free/Decision No. 12-1545

- 10 December 2012: following its plenary meeting in Malta, from 5 to 7 December, BEREC publishes the results of three years of work on net neutrality in Europe/BEREC work on net neutrality/Press release on the plenary meeting

- 20 September 2012:
Two years after the publication of its 10 proposals, Arcep submits its report on net neutrality to the French Parliament and Government.
The report provides an analysis of the technical and economic issues fuelling current debates, describes the regulator's powers in this area and details the work it is doing to safeguard net neutrality. This includes working on improving the transparency of products and services, the creation of a QoS scoreboard, providing a framework for managing traffic and monitoring interconnection.
It underscores the improvements that have been made (notably in reducing site blocking in mobile internet access offers), while also revealing the dangers of future violations and calling for proactive vigilance.
It is now up to the Parliament and the Government to determine what follow-up actions to take in light of the report's conclusions.
- Press release
- The report

- 20 September 2012: Internet traffic/Peering agreements: the Competition Authority renders a decision on the dispute between American transit operator, Cogent, and France Telecom. France Telecom can ask to be remunerated for opening up additional capacity, but it must clarify the pricing and commercial relationship between its ISP business and its transit operator business.
- Competition Authority press release
- Competition Authority Decision
- Arcep opinion

- 1 June 2012: Arcep publishes a draft decision for public consultation on the measurement and publication of QoS indicators for fixed internet access and telephone services. This scorecard will allow users to obtain clear and comparable information on the actual quality of the service each of the different ISPs provides, and is part of Arcep's ongoing work on net neutrality since 2009. The first scorecard will be published in 2013/Press release/Draft decision /Synopsis of contributions to the consultation of 23 December 2011/Public sector stakeholders' contributions to the public consultation of 23 December 2011

- 16 May 2012: Arcep publishes a draft report to Parliament and the Government on net neutrality. The work's key areas of focus, on which Parliament has queried Arcep, include transparency, quality of service, interconnection and traffic management. The public consultation will run to 20 June 2012. A final report will be drafted and submitted to Parliament and the Government.
- Press release
- Public consultation on the draft report

- 30 March 2012: Arcep publishes its decision on introducing a procedure for gathering information on the technical and pricing terms governing interconnection and routing. Arcep had set forth the procedure's guiding principles back in September 2010, in its Proposal No. 8 on net neutrality. Arcep will also tackle the issues of interconnection and data routing between internet players in its report to Parliament on net neutrality, which will be published for public consultation in the coming weeks/Press release

- 20 March 2012: Opening traffic to all, without discrimination: 'We need to separate the issue of fighting against content providers that are operating in an openly illegal fashion from the general principle of neutrality.' Arcep Executive Board member, Françoise Benhamou, in an interview with the Parliamentary Europe Review/The interview

- 11 January 2012: Arcep provides a status report on its net neutrality actions. On 23 December, the Authority launched two public consultations: one on the introduction of a QoS scorecard for fixed internet access, and one on the implementation of regular information gathering on the technical and pricing terms and conditions governing interconnection and data routing/Fact sheet on the proposed data collection and interconnection actions/Full consultation document/Internet QoS scorecard fact sheet / Full consultation document


- 23 December 2011: Arcep launches two public consultations with a view to improving the information available to consumers and to the regulator. The first consultation is on the introduction of a QoS scorecard for fixed intent access. The second is on the implementation of regular information gathering on the technical and pricing terms and conditions governing interconnection and data routing/Press release

- 30 November 2011: Arcep Executive Board member, Joëlle Toledano, gives a talk on net neutrality at the ECTA conference in Brussels. "Regulation must be proactive without be any more intrusive than necessary"/Slideshow from the talk

- 17 November 2011: IDATE 2011
Arcep Executive Board member, Nicolas Curien, introduces the seminar on net neutrality: 'Act I of the net neutrality play is coming to an end. The religious wars between libertarian prosumers of content and reactionary traffic managers have given way to a constructive dialogue, helped along by regulation that is more maieutic than dogmatic. Act II will determine whether this play ends up being a comedy or a tragedy.'/Nicolas Curien's introduction

- 26 October 2011: The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) has opened a public consultation on draft guidelines on net neutrality and transparency. The consultation will run to 2 November.
BEREC is working on a number of separate reports dealing with various aspects of net neutrality:
- transparency to end users about limitations applied by ISPs;
- quality of service requirements;
- competition effects of traffic prioritisation/discrimination;
- and IP interconnection.
- The consultation

- 28 April 2011: "Are there any links between the emergence of smart TVs and net neutrality?" is the title of a talk given by Arcep Executive Board member, Nicolas Curien, at a symposium hosted by broadcasting authority, CSA, on connected TVs, during a round table devoted to new content regulation challenges/Transcript of Nicolas Curien's talk

- 19 April 2011: European Commission communication and press release on net neutrality/Response from Catherine Trautmann, MEP

- 8 April 2011: Press conference on how the sector as a whole is changing: FTTH, increasing connection speeds, 4G procedures, 3G coverage, mobile and fixed call termination, net neutrality and consumer proposals. Arcep Chairman, Jean-Ludovic Silicani, and Executive Board members provided members of the press corps with a detailed snapshot of the telecommunications regulatory landscape in France. They also spoke of postal market issues, in the wake of the total liberalisation of the French postal market on 1 January. A similar meeting was held for financial analysts in the afternoon/Press dossier


- 14 December 2010: The Competition Authority has concluded that Google enjoys a dominant position in the search advertising market. It believes that competition law can rein in Google's behaviour, and address the competition issues raised by fellow market players, without having to introduce blanket regulation for the sector. It is proposing targeted responses to the identified concerns/ Competition Authority's opinion and press release

- 21 October 2010: Arcep's live chat on net neutrality attracted 487 people in total, with a peak of 262 simultaneous connections. A total of 102 questions were asked: 42 ahead of time and 60 live/Transcript of the online chat

- 12 October 2010: The explosion of network traffic, and the need to finance future networks, are causing upheavals in the internet ecosystem. Begun in the United States, a heated debate over the internet's and the networks' neutrality is making its way to Europe. One the one side are content providers and internet users who want to be able to innovate and interact freely, without interference from network operators. On the other hand are operators that want to be able to manage traffic on their infrastructures as they see fit, and have service providers pay them to relay their date. Les cahiers de l'Arcep sets out the terms of the debate, its protagonists and issues, in the run-up to the transposition into national law of European Telecoms Package directives/Les cahiers de l'Arcep: Standard version (7.5 Mb)/in high definition (22.5 Mb)

- 7 October 2010: Arcep publishes stakeholders' contributions to the public consultation launched on 20 May on Arcep's initial guidelines./The contributions (zip file - 15 Mb)

- 30 September 2010: Arcep publishes its 10 proposals and recommendations on net neutrality. Because the threats to net neutrality lie more in potential behavioural changes in the marketplace than in current market malfunctions, Arcep's chosen overall approach is above all preventative, and seeks to promote a neutral and high-quality internet:
- Press release
- Arcep's 10 proposals
- Chairman Jean-Ludovic Silicani's interview in Le Figaro

- 20 September 2010: Synopsis of Arcep Chairman, Jean-Ludovic Silicani's hearing with the National Assembly's Economic Affairs Committee, on 8 September 2010/The hearing

- 21 July 2010: Arcep publishes the proceedings of its net neutrality symposium on 13 April 2010/Proceedings

- 15 July 2010: Arcep received 40 contributions to its public consultation on net neutrality/Press release

- 29 June 2010: On 20 May, Arcep launched a public consultation on the elements to consider and its first guidelines on net neutrality, the fruit of a wide-reaching dialogue and consultation process that has been ongoing since autumn 2009. To enable the maximum number of stakeholders to respond, Arcep is extending the consultation deadline to 5 pm on 13 July 2010/Press release

- 28 April 2010: After France, it is now the turn of regulators from other French-speaking countries to share their net neutrality experiences. The 16 FRATEL (Network of regulators from French-speaking countries) member regulators and telecom sector players met in Tunis on 27 and 28 April 2010, on the invitation of the Instance nationale des télécommunications de Tunisie (INTT) to discuss net neutrality/Official press release/FRATEL website

- 24 May 2010: Summer periodical on net neutrality (5 to 19 August 2010)/Periodical

- 20 May 2010: Arcep launches a public consultation, which will run until 2 July, on the elements to consider and its first guidelines on net neutrality/Press release

- 13 April 2010: Arcep hosts a major international conference on net neutrality.
Debates over network neutrality, which began in the United States, are now taking on increasing significance in both France and Europe. In September 2009, Arcep therefore decided to undertake a thorough examination of this important and multi-faceted issue. In early start of 2010, the Authority launched the second phase of this work, which would be public and culminate in a large international conference on 13 April in Paris. The conference was live streamed on the Arcep website in French and English (and now available on VoD).
In the run-up to the conference, Arcep produced and posted a series of video interviews on its website, offering food for thought on the topic of net neutrality and kick-starting the upcoming debates. Some twenty players from along the value chain, including Stéphane Richard, CEO of France Telecom, Jean-Bernard Lévy, President of Vivendi, Maxime Lombardini, CEO of Iliad Free, Alain Bazot, President of UFC-Que choisir, Benjamin Bayart, President of French Data Network, Giuseppe de Martino, President of ASIC, Pascal Rogard, General Manager of SACD, along with SACEM President, Bernard Miyet, all took part in this series of interviews that began with Arcep Chairman, Jean-Ludovic Silicani, for whom 'the internet is a strategic common good.'
Preparative interviews, VOD of the debates, published documents: Click here to access

- 9 April 2010: The Secretary of State for forward-planning and the development of the digital economy launches a public consultation on net neutrality that will run until 17 May 2010. This purpose of this participatory process is to allow everyone to deepen their understanding of the issues surrounding net neutrality, and how it affects our internet use on a daily basis.


- 19 November 2009: 'In addition to questions about players' strategies, we need to address the more general matter of the relationship between the different links in the chain, and particularly between content and the pipes that deliver it. This issue is bound up with the question of net neutrality and of network neutrality in general, which needs to be examined from three angles: from a technical standpoint, an economic standpoint and with respect to professional codes of conduct.'/Speech given by Jean-Ludovic Silicani at IDATE's annual International Conference

- July 2009: "Net neutrality: how is it being challenged?"
What is the right balance to strike between future-proofing the open internet - in other words one where everyone, without discrimination, can access any content, service and application that is available on the network - and the need for operators and ISPs to manage the exponential increase in connection speeds, which are allowing content providers to deliver increasingly bandwidth-hungry services, while maintaining an optimum quality of service? An economic analysis makes it possible to pinpoint the core areas affected by net neutrality, or the lack thereof: impact on competition, impact on price, on quality, on investments, on innovation/Read the mini dossier devoted to net neutrality in the Lettre de l'Autorité newsletter No. 67 (Pages 16 to 19)


- 24 December 2008: as his term comes to a close , Paul Champsaur shares his thoughts on the impact that network/content convergence has on the role of Arcep and broadcasting authority, CSA. Excerpt
"Arcep has no power over content and is not seeking to obtain any. But all sorts of content is now being relayed over telecoms networks, while the radio network is in decline. The fundamental approach to media regulation in France that is based on regulating spectrum (and inherited from analogue TV) must therefore eventually be re-examined. CSA is a societal regulator, protector of public freedoms. We need to think about the regulatory instruments it needs to fulfil its mandate. Allocating frequencies to TV channels is no longer a relevant instrument. As we are having to contend more and more with a dearth of frequencies available for wireless services, it is only natural that the State begin to explore better ways to use this public resource, in a way that fosters economic development. There is also the question of how competition is shaped by the forms of leverage that can be enacted between the telecoms and media sectors. If we are not careful, there is a very real danger of having vertically integrated dominant players that make certain premium content available only to their customers on their network. I do not believe this prospect would be good for either the market or society. But I do believe that the Competition Authority is entirely capable of handling the issue.'

- 13 October 2008: Arcep holds a round table on the topic of network-content convergence at its 12th Entretiens de l'Autorité symposium, devoted to "Investment, Innovation and Competition: the road to superfast access".

Increasing fast connection speeds are turning content into a top priority for network operators. Any content owner or publisher can distribute their content over network operators' distribution platforms. This synergy between networks and content is driving a growing interaction between the audiovisual media and electronic communications industries.

Is a win-win situation possible? What are the partnerships that work? How to strike the right balance between exclusivities and must carry/must offer? Should service providers help finance the networks, operators, ISPs and/or media production? What degree of neutrality when distributing content online? From a consumer standpoint, what changes in behaviour are we seeing, especially due to the growing number of reception devices (TV, computer, mobile phone, handheld devices) and the growing trend of time-shifted viewing (VOD, catch-up TV)

On hand to answer these questions are: Denis Rapone, Arcep Executive Board member, Jean-Yves Larrouturou, General Secretary of France Telecom, Bertrand Méheut, President of Canal +, Reine-Claude Mader, President of the CLCV consumer protection association, Christian Paul, Deputy for the Nièvre, Marc Tessier, Managing Director of Netgem.

- Full line-up in audio and in video.
- Excerpts from the proceedings of the 12th Entretiens sur la convergence des réseaux (Symposium on network convergence/Text and media files

- 6 October 2008: Arcep publishes a dossier on the changing relationship between networks and content in the Lettre de l'Autorité newsletter No. 63.

One cannot exist without the other, and they have always had a tumultuous relationship. But in this era of digitisation and convergence, those who own the content and those who own the pipes are fated to work together. At stake is not only the conquest of new areas and forms of expression, but also both sectors' future economic growth. This tremendous upheaval is playing out under the watchful eye of sectoral and competition authorities who are working to ensure that powerful players on each side are not exercising that power to the detriment of others in either sector and, ultimately, of customers. And that companies are not leveraging their market power to squeeze out players operating in the same sector.

Deciphering the issues with the help of market experts: Paul Champsaur, Denis Rapone, Nicolas Curien (Arcep Executive Board members), Marie-Laure Denis (Broadcasting authority, CSA), Thierry Dahan (Competition Council), Bertrand Méheut (Canal+), Raoul Roverato (France Telecom), Pierre Danon (Numéricâble), Maxime Lombardini (Free), Jérôme Clément (Arte), Camille Pascal (France Televisions), Richard Lalande (AFORS Telecom), Jacques Peskine (USPA), Pascal Rogard (SACD), Bruno Boutleux (ADAMI), Julien Billot (Lagardère Active), Marc Tessier (Netgem), Barbara Esbin (Progress and freedom foundation), Winston Maxwell and David Sieradski (Hogan and Hartson), James Cicconi (ATT), Richard Whitt, Derek Slater, Sebastian Mueller and Olivier Esper (Google).

Download Arcep Newsletter No. 63