The incumbent operator has submitted a Priority Question of Constitutionality to the Council of State, which can thus deprive the telecom police of its sanctioning powers and render the operators' commitments ineffective.
Unveiled on Tuesday by Le Monde, this request challenges the legal validity of a formal notice sent to it by Arcep last January. Indeed, the regulator criticized Orange for not respecting its obligations towards other telecom operators when it makes its fixed networks available to them. For the time being, this request is only at the preliminary stage. It will only be examined by the "Wise Men" of the Constitutional Council if the Council of State decides to transfer the file to it.
But in reality, it is a much broader problem. The incumbent operator argues that Arcep is both judge and party at the same time and that there is too much permeability between its three missions: to enact rules for the market, to control telecom operators and also to sanction them in the event of non-compliance with their obligations.
The regulator would de facto be deprived of its power to impose sanctions if the Conseil d'État were to rule in favour of the operator. In short, if the Arcep can no longer sanction abuses, the shipyards will fall behind and the objectives to boost French access to very high speed will not be met.
Orange assures that the procedure is a legal issue and will not affect the commitments made. The operator points out that in 2013 the Arcep has already been deprived of its power to impose sanctions in a similar procedure.
Source : Les Echos