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QUALITY of FIXED SERVICES

Arcep submits to consultation a draft proposal for a complete overhaul of its fixed internet access and telephone service QoS indicators  

Paris, 28 November 2016

Taking another step towards crowdsourcing, to reflect users' experience as accurately as possible, as part of a data-centric approach to regulation

Arcep decided to bring changes to its scoreboards on network and service coverage and quality, to provide users with more reliable and more representative measurements of fixed internet access and telephone services. To this end, it intends to make use of new digital tools that will enable any user to obtain a reliable, objective and reproducible measurement of how their individual access is performing. Crowdsourcing instruments will also allow Arcep to obtain a wealth of collaboratively produced information, which will help in identifying any market failures.

The objective over time: to reflect the user experience as accurately as possible, as part of a data-centric approach to regulation. The aim of making information transparent is to allow citizen-consumers to steer the market.

To be able to commit fully to this new approach, an adjustment must be made to the current regulatory framework. This is why Arcep is launching a public consultation today on a draft decision, amending the Framework Decision of 2013 on measuring and publishing fixed service QoS indicators (Decision No. 2013-0004). In particular, provisions regarding the quality of fixed internet access and telephone services, which have become superfluous, will be removed starting in the second half of 2017.

Responses to the consultation are to be submitted to the following e-mail address by 5 January 2017: qos-fixe@arcep.fr

For 2017: partner-based approach and comparative study of existing measures

Arcep wanted to give priority to creating partnerships with players that are already measuring coverage and quality of service, or centralising users' feedback. A call for partnership proposals was held from 30 June to 30 September 2016. It resulted in some 10 responses, along with concrete proposals on paths for collaboration between these players and Arcep, which are currently being examined in detail.

As a parallel measure, because there is as yet no standardised method - which can be considered the gold standard - for measuring the quality of fixed services, Arcep plans on performing a comparative analysis of the different crowdsourcing tools that are currently available in the marketplace. This study will help clarify the Authority's understanding of these tools and the methodological approaches best suited to meeting the regulatory objectives with which it is entrusted, and allow it to make the best partnership choices.

The findings of this comparative study will be made public in early 2017.

For now: the final publication of scoreboards, in their current form, on the quality of fixed internet access and telephone services, for which feedback will be vital to what follows

Today, Arcep is also publishing summary reports on its three fixed services QoS scoreboards for Q1 2016, regarding:

• Internet access: bitrates, latency, web browsing, streaming video
• Telephone calls: call completion success rate, call setup time, speech quality
• Customer service: line setup, reliability, technical support

Up until now, internet access and telephone service scoreboards have been based on tests performed in a controlled environment. The fruit of significant work involving operators, consumer associations, independent technical experts and Arcep departments, their findings and practical feedback (governance, technical mechanism, methodology, etc.) will be one of the keys to the success of Arcep's new approach. However, they will no longer be published in their current form, as Arcep wants to move towards a system that reflects users' experience as accurately as possible.



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