Thursday, July 7, 2005

EU Telecom Rules: Commission Takes Action Against 11 Member States

Eleven European countries have failed to implement properly EU telecom rules and hence the European Commission has initiated action against them to insure implementation. The key issues at stake include the independence of the national telecoms regulator, the requirement of number portability and of comprehensive subscriber directories, designation of "universal service" providers, and the availability of the European emergency number 112. The eleven countries are Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Finland.

The European Commission published a list of specific telecom regulatory issues for each country.

"The EU rules opening up national telecommunication markets must be fully and correctly implemented if European consumers and business users are to get the full benefits of competitive electronic communications services such as high-speed internet connections and affordable mobile communications," commented Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding.

  • In February 2003, the European Commission officially adopted a New Regulatory Framework that requires national regulators in EU member states to review and/or adapt policies governing electronic communications by 24 July 2003. The framework covered regulations for fixed and mobile wireless networks, cable television networks, satellite networks, and IP networks, whether used for voice, fax, data or video. Specific directives address unbundled access to the local loop, differentiating between existing metallic loops and new optical builds, while guaranteeing universal service and affordable access for all citizens. The Commission also defined a market for wholesale broadband access, covering "bit-stream" services and equivalent wholesale services provided over other infrastructures that permit the transmission of broadband data in both directions. In addition, the new framework defined a market for Voice call termination on individual mobile networks, enabling termination prices from fixed locations to mobile networks to be analyzed and regulated.

See also