EU Mulls New Regulation

The Commission is launching today a public consultation on policy options for updating the EU’s telecom rules of 2002

June 29, 2006

2 Min Read

BRUSSELS, Belgium -- The Commission is launching today a public consultation on policy options for updating the EU’s telecom rules of 2002, the "regulatory framework for electronic communications". Electronic communications include fixed voice telephony, mobile communications and broadband - a market worth more than €270 billion in the EU in 2005. Reporting on the functioning of the framework, the Commission notes substantial progress since 2002 in opening up national telecom markets to competition and proposes to phase out ex-ante regulation in at least 6 of the existing 18 telecoms market segments, including those for national and international calls. For those markets where competition is not yet effective (such as the crucial broadband supply market), the Commission wants EU rules applied more effectively, so as to step up competition throughout the single market. The Commission thereby takes a clear stance against the idea of “regulatory holidays” for incumbent operators. The Commission also advocates moving towards a common, more market-based, approach to allocating the radio spectrum needed for innovative services and devices to work EU-wide. The Commission’s target is for the new rules to be fully transposed into national laws by 2010.

“Europe’s telecoms rules are a true success story for competition, investment and consumer interests”, commented EU Commissioner Viviane Reding, responsible for Information Society and Media. “However, we now need the courage to complete the process of market opening started in the 1990s. In today’s electronic world, national borders have become superfluous to technology, economic interests and consumer behaviour. Operators, technological innovators, service suppliers and citizens all stand to gain from a single set of well-executed EU rules. Stronger cross-border competition and better access to spectrum, the raw material of the information society, are indispensable for sustaining Europe's competitive advantage in the telecoms sector.”

The public consultation stage of the “2006 Review” of the EU’s regulatory framework for electronic communications, which was adopted in 2002 by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, formally begins today. The four documents released by the Commission for public consultation today are a Communication, a Staff Working Document, an Impact Assessment that identifies the main policy options under consideration, and a draft Recommendation on relevant markets.

EUnet Telekom GmbH

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