Monday, March 1, 2010

EU Opens Consultation on Future of Universal Service

The European Commission has opened a public consultation on the future of Universal Services in the digital age.

Current EU rules on universal service obligations for telecoms date from 2002 and guarantee that Europeans have access to public telephone networks and to services like basic internet access.

The new consultation aims to see if these rules and definitions on universal service need to be updated for the digital age, and in particular if they should be extended to cover broadband access. The consultation will run until 7 May 2010.

Among the questions the consultation aims to address are: Should universal service principles help to reach the EU's goal of 'broadband for all', or would competition on the open telecoms market or other policy options be more effective? With regard to the Digital Divide, what is the right balance between a coordinated EU-wide response and the need for national flexibility? How should universal service be financed in the future?http://www.europa.euhttp://


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