Who is Laure de La Raudière, new president of the telecoms regulator?

On digital issues, the deputy Laure de La Raudière has regularly shown a certain competence. She now takes the head of Arcep, the telecommunications regulator, after the green light from Parliament.

White smoke at 14, rue Gerty Archimède, at the headquarters of the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications, Posts and Press Distribution (Arcep), in the twelfth arrondissement of Paris. We now know the personality who will most likely lead the telecoms gendarme for the next five years. This is Laure de La Raudière.

The person concerned was confirmed in this new function by the economic affairs committees of the National Assembly and the Senate, by a very large majority. On Twitter, Laure de la Raudière, whose name was proposed by the President of the Republic on January 5 in a communicated, shared the news on January 20. ” It honors me and commits me She wrote.

While rumors were spinning well in recent days on the one who would hold the rope to take over the presidency of the telecoms regulator, including the former boss, Sébastien Soriano, goes to head the National Institute of Geographic and Forest Information (IGN), it is therefore ultimately the member elected in Eure-et-Loir who was selected, thus defeating all forecasts.

His appointment is remarkable on two levels.

Laure de La Raudière, end of 2011. // Source: Dooby~frwiki

She is the first woman to hold this position since the creation of Arcep in 1997. Before her, the regulatory authority was chaired by Jean-Michel Hubert until 2003, followed by Paul Champsaur until in 2009, Jean-Ludovic Silicani until 2015 and finally Sébastien Soriano, until the beginning of 2021. Jean-Claude Mallet will make a short stint in 2009, but will resign after a few weeks.

He is also a personality who did not come from the Council of State. This is certainly not a first – Sébastien Soriano does not leave his ranks either -, but as indicated Le Figaro, the presidency of Arcep traditionally falls to a State Councilor. This tradition, broken with the outgoing president, seems obviously a little more removed with the arrival of Laure de La Raudière.

If it is not in the seraglio, it remains nonetheless competent on telecoms subjects – which we readily recognize him and she has often shown it on social networks, whose twitter account has more than 22,000 subscribers (she registered in July 2009, which makes her a pioneer in this area). Her page Facebook also exists, but has less visibility, with nearly 6,000 subscribers.

Before being elected, the person concerned worked “in the real world”. She spent 12 years at France Télécom, until 2001, notes Cyber ​​circle. She was a partner in Relevance, a data mining software development startup. She has founded and managed network and telecom consulting companies with large companies. She is also a telecommunications engineer, graduated from the École normale supérieure.

However, this professional parenthesis at France Telecom was debated. On January 5, Xavier Niel, who founded Free, a competitor of France Telecom (now Orange), questioned her on BFM Business. She would be biased towards her former employer – that is, after twenty years have passed since. Laure de La Raudière’s reluctance to accept another mobile operator would also feed his resentment.

The exit of the entrepreneur on this subject annoyed a former colleague of Laure de La Raudière, Éric Bothorel. The same day he wanted to remind certain proposals from the elected representative who were not kind to her ex-boss. In one information report on the territory’s mobile and digital coverage, it proposed, for example, to analyze compliance with the non-discrimination conditions imposed on Orange.

A politician who follows digital closely

For those who follow digital news, and more particularly telecoms, the name of Laure de La Raudière is remembered. While she was in her third term in the National Assembly (elected in 2007 under the UMP banner, then re-elected in 2012 and 2017 as Les Républicains, a party she has since left for several groups, including Act together, the latest), she distinguished herself by writing information reports such as on the digital coverage of the territory where the development of the French digital economy.

The digital coverage of the territory, which is in fact a subject on which Arcep is expected, is not the only subject on which Laure de La Raudière has invested. At the beginning of the 2010s, it attracted attention with an information mission on net neutrality, which had been hailed by La Quadrature du Net, an association very vigilant on this type of problem.

After this fact-finding mission, it wanted to enforce respect for net neutrality and suggested that Arcep measure the quality and availability of services. She was also in 2012 at the origin of a bill on the subject – which however did not succeed. For the record, net neutrality is now consecrated at European level and Arcep is working to better measure speeds.

In matters of the making of the law, moreover, Laure de La Raudière had also offers in 2014 – without success – to make the teaching of programming compulsory from primary school. Moreover, four years later, on a similar theme, the deputy asked that digital and scientific humanities courses arrive not just in high school, but from college.

data center network cable
Laure de La Raudière has taken a keen interest in subjects relating to telecommunications, such as net neutrality, IPv6 and digital coverage of the territory. // Source: CommScope

We also remember his bill to speed up the transition to the IPv6 standard, in anticipation of the future depletion of stocks of IPv4 addresses. We were in 2014. Six years later, the situation remains unsatisfactory. Here too, this is a subject on which the regulator is called upon to intervene. On the other hand, it is not expected on the right of withdrawal for online tourism, which was another bill.

Obviously, Laure de La Raudière did not submit only digital-related texts during her three terms of office – but, in the case of the latter, for example, we find her support for bills on rurality, in particular on the revitalization of these areas. However, this indirectly interests Arcep, due to the issue of the digital divide, in fixed and mobile.

At the National Assembly, Laure de La Raudière co-chaired two study groups on digital technology (cybersecurity and digital sovereignty on the one hand and the digital economy of data, knowledge and artificial intelligence on the other), and participated in two other structures related to this field as a member: health and digital and startup, SME and ETI.

In Parliament, she took part in discussions on digital democracy and new forms of citizen participation, and the construction and promotion of national and European digital sovereignty. On a more economic level, she also signed another information report on the blockchain (or blockchain) – in the past, she wanted to give it an indisputable legal value.

Laure de La Raudière also sat for a time on the National Digital Council as a parliament representative, alongside three colleagues.

The MP also participated for a time in the National Digital Council.

Filtering, Hadopi, StopCovid, online hatred …

With three terms of five years each (even if the last will not be complete), make an exhaustive inventory of all the contributions of Laure de La Raudière on digital subjects (both in amendments and in interventions in committees or the hemicycle, or even in the media and on social networks) would be a Herculean task – as well as tedious and not always enlightening.

His parliamentary activity can nevertheless be explored on the website of the National Assembly or on the NosDeputies portal.

The observatory of parliamentary activity makes it possible to find votes, his parliamentary files, his oral questions posed in a hemicycle and its written questions. It should also be noted that Laure de La Raudière was also able to use the monitoring tool of NosDeputies to her advantage, since at the end of her first term, she presented a quantified report to her voters – a way of showing that she hasn’t twiddled her thumbs.

If a Prévert-style inventory would hardly make sense, some interventions by the former deputy should be noted, such as her rejection of the administrative blocking of sites, her hostility to the taxation of ISPs to finance culture, her proposal for an alternative root DNS, its fears about filtering access by DPI, its frustration with the France Very High Speed ​​plan or its hostility towards algorithmic black boxes.

Laure de La Raudière
Laure de La Raudière, in March 2012. // Source: UMP

We also note a motion for a resolution calling for international protection of privacy, its amendment against the tax on the purchase of advertising, its perplexity with regard to the global license. It has also been found on the Hadopi budget, the graduated response, the private copying tax on consoles, identity theft, the Intelligence law, StopCovid, the TES file, online hatred or else the cybersecurity in videoconferencing.

For the record, Laure de La Raudière had given an opinion in 2010, on behalf of the Committee on Economic Affairs, on the bill to transpose the Telecoms package in French law. It should be known that this text had generated a brief psychodrama, because it appeared that the government of the time had tried to impose to be represented within ARCEP.

This had then raised fears of a loss of independence of the telecoms regulatory authority with regard to the executive. In the end, it didn’t. It must be said that the case had reached European ears, who had not seen this maneuver with a very good eye. At the time, Laure de La Raudière had fun of this case on Twitter. Eight years later, his presidency will be able to enjoy this freedom.

(update of the subject with the validation of the appointment of Laure de La Raudière by the two parliamentary committees)

The continuation in video

Source: Numerama by www.numerama.com.

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