CEEP Statement on the (future) Review of EU Telecoms Rules

Date

04 Jun 2009

Sections

Social Europe & Jobs

In view of the upcoming negotiations on the future Review of the EU Telecoms Rules, CEEP members advocate and expect the next generation access networks and the risky investments’ issues to stay high up in the debate. They also support Parliament’s strong commitment to dynamic spectrum management and accessible telecommunication services.

Next Generation Access Networks (NGAs) are essential for consumers and businesses to benefit from tomorrow’s broadband services. NGAs will directly contribute to help Europe recover from the current economic crisis, by creating new jobs and generating additional GDP growth. NGAs deployment, in which Europe is already lagging behind by comparison to the US and Asia, entails very risky investment estimated at up to 300 billion €.

The revised directives recognise the need for new mechanisms to better share investment risk and improve investment incentives through long-term regulatory certainty. These new rules should be fully implemented and further strengthened in the European Commission’s forthcoming NGA Recommendation and National Regulatory Authorities’ regulatory practice. More certainty should be
provided to the investors and regulation adapted to different geographic areas within a national territory, according to the competitive reality. A more targeted regulatory approach as well as mechanisms to share risks has the potential to reinforce incentives for all players to invest while at the same time maintaining today’s lively competition, for the full benefit of consumers.

CEEP members support Parliament’s endorsement of efficient spectrum management by Member States which is consistent with the existing international rules, , and which respects measures taken at European and national level in the public interest, while allowing enhanced flexibility in the usage of spectrum. They will continue to closely monitor any future coordinated EU spectrum policy, as the
text submitted by Parliament allows the European Commission to propose legislative multi-annual radio spectrum policy programmes.

CEEP members advocate however against the inclusion of ‘functional separation’ in the list of remedies. Such a costly and far reaching remedy in the package bears little relevance to today’s dynamic and highly competitive markets in Europe. In the context of the current economic
downturn, mandatory functional separation should be considered even more cautiously as it would further increase regulatory uncertainty and complexity and negatively impact the much needed network investment.

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