In the context of the public consultation launched by the French Prime Minister during the summer in order to receive proposals to ensure a coherent and effective regulatory framework for media and electronic communications in the Internet era, ARCEP published, on October 11, a report setting forth its position on the future of television and electronic communications regulation in the Internet era [Press release in English].
ARCEP underlines that an in-depth review of the principles and objectives of regulation, especially with regard to broadcasting regulation, is a prerequisite for any institutional reform and that such a reform deserves to be carefully thought through. Three scenarios for a review of broadcasting regulation are considered. Firstly, broadcasting regulation could remain mainly focused on content and be extended to new players. According to ARCEP, this would require an improved cooperation between the French broadcasting regulator, CSA, and ARCEP which could be achieved through the creation of a joint board. Secondly, the economic component of broadcasting regulation could be increased. ARCEP could be in charge of the enhanced economic regulatory function, while the CSA would continue to focus on traditional content issues. Thirdly, we could lean towards an essentially economic regulation of broadcasting. Merging the two regulators would require widening the scope of the new authority and extending its powers to the fields of competition and radio spectrum management.
This opinion will be coordinated with the position of CSA and with a report on the "cultural exception" conducted by Pierre Lescure. The conclusions of ministers are expected late November.