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Law for a Digital Republic of 7 October 2016: Universal access to digital technology

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France

The French Law for a Digital Republic was promulgated on 7 October and aims to anticipate changes related to the digitalisation of society. This publication summarizes the main inputs of the law.

On Friday 7 October 2016, the President of the French Republic promulgated Law no. 2016-1321 of 7 October 2016 for a Digital Republic.

This law addresses numerous issues such as net neutrality, transferability of data, the right to continued internet service, the confidentiality of private correspondence, the right to be forgotten for minors, open government data, digital data management after death, open government algorithms  and even the official recognition of video game competitions.

The law is intended to anticipate changes relating to digital technology in general and consists of three parts:  

  1. The circulation of data and knowledge
  2. The protection of individuals in the digital society
  3. Universal access to digital technology

 Through:

1) Full mobile phone coverage

Local authorities and their organizations will benefit from  allocations from the compensation fund for the value added tax for their investment expenditures made during the period from 2015-2022, under the control of public works, as concerns passive infrastructure integrating their  local assets in the framework of the action plan for extending mobile phone network coverage in the territory 

Date of entry into force: As from 9 October 2016

Implementing regulations: Law no. 2016-1321 of 7 October 2016 for a Digital Republic

2) Measures to facilitate new uses such as  electronic registered delivery and payment by SMS 

Digital ID, digital safe, and digital registered delivery

Date of entry into force: March 2017

Implementing regulations: Decrees to be issued

3) Access for the disabled to telephone services and internet websites 

Access to internet sites

  • Threshold relative to the turnover of organisms charged with a public service activity and companies over which they must make online public communications services accessible to the disabled.

Date of entry into force: March 2017

Implementing regulations: Decrees to be issued

  • Amount of the administrative fine in the event of failure by a public online communication service to comply with the obligations mentioned in II, which cannot exceed 5 000 €

Date of entry into force: January 2017

Implementing regulations: Decrees to be issued

  • Rules concerning accessibility, type of adaptations to be implemented and the time limits for compliance by existing online public communication services, and the conditions under which penalties will be imposed and collected in the event of failure to comply with these obligations 

Date of entry into force: January 2017

Implementing regulations: Decrees to be issued

Telephone access

Work has commenced on this with the operators

Date of entry into force: January 2017

Implementing regulations: Decrees to be issued

4) The introduction of a right to continued service for the most disadvantaged members of society 

The continuation of internet service: starting at the end of the month, the first two conventions will be signed between operators, the State, and the departments of Seine Saint Denis and Haute Saône, in order to allow the most disadvantaged members of society to benefit from continued internet service, thanks to a grant of up to 100 euros per year and per household.

Date of entry into force: As from 9 October 2016

Implementing regulations: Law no. 2016-1321 of 7 October 2016 for a Digital Republic

5) Measures to accelerate the roll out of high speed access throughout the country

Facilitating the deployment of fiber on building facades, right to fiber for all tenants, financial incentives (additional depreciations) to companies for the deployment of equipment, assistance to municipalities (FCTVA) for the installation of de cellphone towers in rural areas, possibility to create joint associations to cover larger deployment areas

Date of entry into force: As from 9 October 2016

Implementing regulations: Law no. 2016-1321 of 7 October 2016 for a Digital Republic

 

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