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EU regulatory framework for electronic communications - Introduction Richard Harris Independent EU telecommunications consultant ICTtrain workshop London.

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Presentation on theme: "EU regulatory framework for electronic communications - Introduction Richard Harris Independent EU telecommunications consultant ICTtrain workshop London."— Presentation transcript:

1 EU regulatory framework for electronic communications - Introduction Richard Harris Independent EU telecommunications consultant ICTtrain workshop London 3-14 November 2008 This project is funded by the European Union

2 Agenda – the basis of policy for this sector – the common approach – the global dimension – the present EU legislation – the wider EU regulatory space – points to watch and summary 3rd November 20082

3 The basis of the policy The convergence of technologies and industries: – Telecommunications - monopoly – Data processing - competition – Broadcasting – some competition 3rd November 20083

4 Data Fixed PC Broadcasting Cable Satellite Terrestrial Television Voice telephony Fixed Mobile Telephone/ Handset Service Network Terminal Convergence is a reality Wireless Satellite Cable Telecoms 3rd November 20084

5 The common approach - 1 Competition policy – In the USA – anti-trust court decisions from the 1950s onwards Law not changed between 1934 and 1995 – In the EU – the Treaty of Rome “British Telecom” case in 1982/5 showed that the competition rules apply to telecommunications EU obliged to develop a policy for telecommunications – adopted rd November 20085

6 The common approach - 2 The UK opened its market between 1981 and 1990 EU decided in 1987 to abolish the monopolies in stages The first stage was in 1988 The last stage was 1998 Review in 2000 led to 2002 framework Further EU review in progress today 3rd November 20086

7 The global dimension The WTO decided in 1994 to open telecomms services markets 95 signatories initially, now many more The ITU sought to find a solution for the host of smaller 3 rd world countries The EBRD has financed telecommunications only where modern policy is pursued. The World Banks has adapted its lending policy for telecommunications to competition. The OECD reports on this sector as an important indicator of economic health. 3rd November 20087

8 EU telecommunications legislation Almost entirely in the form of Directives First one in 1983 Mostly Council and Parliament Directives Underpinned with Commission Directives A series of Directives which opened the market gradually 1998 package – complete market opening 3rd November 20088

9 2002 regulatory framework - for all electronic communications Privacy Directive Spectrum Decision (Art. 95) Liberalisation Directive (Art. 86) Framework Directive (Art. 95) Authorisation Directive Access & Interconnection Directive Universal service Directive 3rd November 20089

10 2002 regulatory framework Key principles: Independent national regulators Minimise regulation Technological neutrality Consistency across the EU market Level playing field for new entrants Universal service 3rd November

11 2002 regulatory framework - laws Framework Directive: outlines general principles, objectives and procedures Authorisation Directive: replaces individual licences with general authorisations Access and interconnection Directive: sets out rules for a multi-carrier market place, ensuring access to networks and services, interoperability etc Universal service Directive: guarantees basic rights for consumers and minimum levels of availability and affordability Privacy Directive: covers protection of privacy and personal data protection communicated over public networks Liberalisation Directive: prohibits special or exclusive rights in this sector Radio spectrum Decision: principles and procedures for developing a EU radio spectrum policy 3rd November

12 2002 regulatory framework - minimise Regulation is limited to situations where an operators has “significant market power” - SMP SMP status is determined by NRAs on the basis of market analysis These decisions are based on competition law principles Status under 1998 framework is unchanged until analysis has been done 3rd November

13 2002 regulatory framework - consistency Communications Committee: regulatory and advisory functions on implementation of the Directives European Regulators Group: helps consistent application of the regime throughout the EU Radio Spectrum Policy Group: high level platform where member states and the Commission coordinate use of the spectrum Radio Spectrum Committee: deals with technical issues around harmonisation of frequency allocation across Europe and develops an external EU policy Notification procedures: “Article 7” procedure Independent EU Advisory Body on Data Protection and Privacy (Article 29 working party) 3rd November

14 EU regulatory space The context - treaty relations with the EU Adoption of EU laws EU accession negotiations Monitoring the markets (Cullen) Consistency arrangements - non EU countries not yet fully part of these 3rd November

15 3rd November EU Neighbourhood policy – 16 countries

16 Associated countries Treaty relationship Approximate national laws to the acquis Principles of EU competition rules apply Cooperation regarding telecommunications Committee structure 3rd November

17 Points to watch Investors draw confidence from knowing that regulation is fair and reasonable The NRAs should have powerful tools and not be open to pressure from operators GSM operators in the EU vicinity have greater market power than in EU15 EU universal service model not a good fit in the EU vicinity 3rd November

18 Summary Regulation is needed only where policy aims cannot be achieved without it Competition is intended to stimulate incumbents Industry should take the lead in finding solutions Ministers regard this sector as an aspect of the IS They discuss cartels, abusive practices, spam, IPRs, the digital divide, universal service, eGovernment, promoting broadband and security 3rd November

19 Typical EU Council agenda Mobile satellite systems Digital dividend Legislative package in the area of electronic communications Radio spectrum policy Safer use of the Internet World Summit on Information Society Spam 3rd November

20 Thank you for your attention For more information: See - Europa web-site 3rd November


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