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IRIS 2012-9:1/8

European Commission

Report on Telecommunication Market and Regulatory Developments

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Catherine Jasserand

Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam

On 18 June 2012, the European Commission published its report on the Telecommunication services, based on the implementation of the revised EU Telecom Framework (see IRIS 2009-6/6, IRIS 2009-1/5 and IRIS 2010-1/7). According to the report, four member states still need to implement the framework into their national laws (Belgium, Poland, Portugal and Slovenia). The Commission assesses the work and functioning of the national regulatory authorities (NRAs), the revenues and investment of the electronic communications sector, the status of the broadband connection, the voice and other e-communication services (including broadcasting), the EU Radio Spectrum policy programme and the consumer’s interest (including the issue of net neutrality).

On the topic of broadcasting, the Commission focuses on the regulation of broadcasting markets (status of the ex ante regulation in view of the three criteria test) and the progresses of the digital switchover of analogue terrestrial and cable transmissions (availability and penetration of the Internet Protocol Television (IPTV)).

Concerning net neutrality, the Commission notes that member states have issued rules on transparency and quality of services while implementing the Telecom framework. Some members states have adopted guidelines or parliamentary resolution on the topic. Others have delegated to their NRAs the task of setting up a general approach in that field. The Netherlands is the only member state to have adopted a specific law on this issue (see IRIS 2012-7/32).

In conclusion of the report, the European Commission identifies several areas that need improvement (e.g. the functioning and independence of NRAs, the protection of consumer rights and the validity of specific tax on operators).

References
Telecommunication Market and Regulatory Developments, 18 June 2012, EU Commission Report EN
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=16116