The French law transposing the EU Directives on electronic communications entered into force on 10 July 2004 (see also the T-REGS news item).

Before the new regulatory framework can be fully effective in France, the law needs to be complemented by a set of implementation decrees.

The Ministry of Industry has opened a public consultation on 9 draft implementation decrees (the intention is to have 14 decrees associated with Title I of the new law, but some decrees already existed under the previous regulatory framework, and require very minor adjustments, and are therefore not put to public consultation).

The public consultation concerns the following draft decrees:

- Decree on electronic communications networks and services: this text determines the details of the general authorisation system for networks and services (with a requirement of declaration to the regulatory authority ART replacing the previous individual licensing system), and the rights and obligations resulting from the general authorisation.

- Decree on the authorisation regime for the right of use of radio frequencies.

- Decree on rights-of-way on the public domain, and the maximum fees that entities in charge of the public domain may levy for its utilisation for telecommunications installations (underground ducts and cables, poles, antennas, etc.) 

- Decree on interconnection and access, and on the obligations of operators designated as having Significant Market Power (on wholesale and on retail markets).

- Decree on dispute resolution proceedings in front of the ART (and making various further adjustments, reflecting, for instance, the abolition of the system of individual licensing for telecommunications networks and services).

- Decree on the retail tariffs of the Universal Service provider(s).

- Decree on directory services.

- Decree on the National Frequency Agency (ANF) and other radio frequency aspects.

- Decree on the Committees (CSSPPCE, CCR, CCRSCE) instituted to advise on electronic communications and radio communications (and making various further adjustments especially relating to radio communications).

The deadline for filing comments on the draft decrees is 22 Sep 2004.

The full text (in French) of each of the draft decrees, accompanied by explanatory notes, can be accessed by clicking here.

For a discussion of what is at stake, please contact Yves Blondeel.