Watchdog Dreaming

9:40 AM -- Good luck, Portugal. That's what we say. Why? Because the Iberian nation has set itself on a collision course with some of the European Union's biggest and most petulant nations with talk of a single European telecom regulator.

Starting in July, Portugal takes over the presidency of the EU for its six-month term and, according to media reports, has made the creation of a single telecom regulatory authority a priority during its term.

Currently, the European Commission 's Information Society directorate develops EU-wide telecom rules, which the separate national operators are then supposed to implement. Sometimes they comply, but, when it doesn't suit them, they don't. And about every six months the EC wags a finger at a number of EU member states and gives them a warning. (See EC Smacks Luxembourg and EU Updates on Rulebreakers.)

But when countries such as Germany fancy flouting the laws, well, they just go right ahead, whatever the consequences. (See EC Warns Germany and EC Threatens Germany With Court Case.)

The idea of a single, pan-European regulator that would be a tough enforcer across a unified telecom marketplace seems like a good idea, but it's unlikely to happen any time soon.

— Ray Le Maistre, Watchdog Editor, Light Reading

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