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France’s Arcep recommends not renewing its regulation of digital TV

Arcep, France’s regulator, has issued its “scoreboard and outlook” document for public consultation, which traditionally marks the start of a new round of market analysis, and provides an assessment of the state of competition in the wholesale market for terrestrial broadcasting services, under the current regulatory framework, and examines past and likely future developments in the technical arrangements for broadcasting television content. In light of these analyses, Arcep says it does not plan on continuing to regulate this market for a fifth round. It says digital terrestrial television’s (DTT) relative share of TV viewing continues to decrease steadily, as broadcasting over broadband gains in popularity. In France, IPTV broadcasting was widely adopted thanks to triple play bundles, which included TV services. CSA, the broadcasting authority, says that IPTV overtook DTT in Q1 2017 in popularity and  DTT’s steady replacement is expected to continue as more households become eligible to subscribe to broadband and superfast broadband plans. Meanwhile, content providers are gaining access to a growing number of alternative outlets to DTT.  Given that a new competition dynamic is emerging between the different broadcasting systems, Arcep has concluded that it is no longer relevant to continue to regulate only DTT competition. It does say though that DTT remains a significant television access system and its analysis “in no way predicts its future, which falls outside Arcep’s competence”. It is inviting comment by 10 September 2018. Read more

  • Monday, 25 June 2018

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