For Arcep, whose responsibilities include laying the foundation for future infrastructures and putting itself at the service of the digital revolution, the development of the Internet of Things is a central area of focus, given its power to be a driver of innovation, modernisation and competitiveness for the entire economy.

But the IoT also brings with it a number of challenges for digital network regulation, in terms of network capacity, interconnection, openness, architecture and quality of service. The regulator’s goal is to assist all of the stakeholders to navigate this transformation as smoothly as possible – a transformation that is benefitting numerous French businesses whose vitality and inventiveness in the IoT market are being recognised the world over.

Some technical, economic an regulatory issues pertain to communication systems, and so fall under Arcep’s purview, be it spectrum management, network architecture, numbering, data protection, access rights or interoperability. Other issues, however, must be tackled in concert with the relevant institutions: data privacy, the value chain and the ecosystem’s organisation, and information systems security.

Arcep therefore plans on mapping out the public policy challenges surrounding the Internet of Things and smart cities, through an action plan carried out in partnership with several equally concerned institutions: DGE, ANFR, CNIL, ANSSI, France Stratégie and DGALN.

The first step is to discover, understand and enable the developments being generated by the IoT. Arcep’s objective is to encourage the ecosystem to organise itself, by identifying and anticipating the core decisions that need to be made.



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Through a lengthy series of meetings and seminars, in autumn 2015 Arcep kicked off a process geared to deepening its understanding of the IoT ecosystem in France and in Europe, while seeking to pinpoint the challenges to be met to enable its development.

Arcep heard from some 30 IoT market players, either in bilateral meetings or in working groups. These meetings provided an opportunity to address a set of topics:

• the ecosystem and value chain;

• connectivity;

• interoperability;

• data;

To complete this initial exploration of the issues and challenges surrounding the Internet of Things, several thematic or sector-specific workshops will be held in the spring: Health and Insurance, Smart homes and buildings, the Smart city, the Connected car, and the Industrial Internet of Things.

A public consultation will then be held on the key recommended actions for public authorities. A White Paper, along with recommendations and proposals, will then be made public in autumn 2016.


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The action plan on the Internet of Things and smart cities that Arcep initiated with its strategic review in June 2015, in concert with the other public sector stakeholders, will help to identify the new regulatory challenges to emerge from their development, and to define Arcep’s approach to these future issues.

The work done within BEREC – to which Arcep contributed – led to the publication of a report in February 2016 on several avenues to be explored on a Europe-wide scale:

• managing the scarce technical resources that are vital to the Internet of Things;

• changes that need to be made to Europe’s regulatory framework to unleash the IoT’s potential;

• and other key considerations that fall outside NRAs’ purview, and so will require collaboration with partner institutions.

In keeping with this work being done at the European level, in January 2016 Arcep laid out a first set of actions in the roadmap to emerge from its strategic review. The current approach rooted in dialogue and consultation, which will culminate in a report in autumn 2016, will serve to complete and flesh out the necessary actions that Arcep has already identified, to establish a more detailed roadmap for the Internet of Things.

• BEREC report: “Enabling the Internet of Things,” February 2016

• Arcep presents the conclusions of its strategic review, 19 January 2016