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Green light for the telecoms package


22 Apr 2009



Tuesday evening in Strasbourg the European Parliament's industry and energy committee voted in favour on a common regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and service. The 'telecoms package' contains four reports on the reform of the regulatory framework for electronic communications - including mobile and fixed telephones, broadcasting and the internet. In particular the 'report on a directive on universal service and user's rights relating to communications networks' has raised differing opinions.

The revision of the preceding directives, adopted in the 1990s, will improve consumer rights such as the obligation on operators to provide more transparent information on tariffs and contractual terms. The report also aims to strengthen personal data and privacy protection, e.g. by requiring access providers to warn internet users of the risk of malicious use of their personal data or other illegal practices. A second part of the report focuses on measures enhancing data protection.

ALDE shadow rapporteur Patrizia Toia MEP (IT, Partito democratico), says:
"This new regulation aims to enhance competition and we asked for a fair access to new entrants. This "package" should ensure all market players have sufficient incentives to invest in infrastructures and services for consumer benefit. We also call on the Council to recognize the importance of the digital spectrum in order to profit from new and advanced technologies."

After the vote, ALDE-MEP Alexander ALVARO (FDP, Germany), as co-rapporteur responsible for this second part of the report, commented:

"Through enhancing data protection rules, we have significantly raised consumer protection within the internet. By including social platforms and extending the scope of the directive, we adjusted the e-privacy directive to the demands of a modern information society. In particular, the newly added duty to report security breaches gives consumers, especially internet users, a maximum of protection."

"I am particularly pleased that the committee insisted that no restriction may be imposed on the fundamental rights and freedoms of internet users, without a prior ruling by the judicial authorities"- he added.

For more information, please contact:
Neil Corlett: +33-3-88 17 41 67 or +32-478-78 22 84
Neringa Gaidyte: +33-3-88 16 40 83 or +32-486-03 73 75