Review of EU Telecoms Rules: ETNO strongly regrets blockage of telecoms package

Date

07 May 2009

Sections

InfoSociety

BRUSSELS – ETNO strongly regrets that the whole package is now blocked because of an issue which falls outside the scope of the regulatory framework. ETNO however always insisted on the need for citizens rights to be fully protected and that no action should be taken against a consumer outside of a court order.

“A blockage of the package is highly regrettable as it leads to additional uncertainty in a sector which is essential for the economic recovery and faces highly risky investment in high speed broadband networks. The postponement should not undermine the key efforts made by the EP rapporteurs, Catherine Trautmann, Pilar del Castillo and Malcolm Harbour, and the Czech Presidency to reach an agreement on key issues for consumers and for the deployment of next generation access networks”, says Michael Bartholomew, ETNO Director.

ETNO welcomes nevertheless the agreement between the EP and the Council on all other issues included in the telecoms package and calls on the parties to ensure that this agreement is maintained as it is the result of a delicate compromise.

For ETNO the key priority of the Review should be the roll out of the next generation access networks. In this respect, ETNO welcomes the support by the European Parliament for the inclusion in the revised rules of measures to improve incentives for risky investments in next generation access networks, mainly by:

- reinforcing provisions for NRAs to adapt regulatory interventions within a national market based on the degree of competition in different areas;

- introducing new mechanisms to share investment risks, for instance by enabling investing and access seeking parties to negotiate longer term access agreements;

- improving long term regulatory certainty through consistency of access terms over successive review periods.

“A more targeted regulatory approach as well as mechanisms to share risks have 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. These revised rules should however already be fully reflected in the forthcoming EC recommendation on next generation access for NRAs to apply them in practice”, added Bartholomew.

Nonetheless, the remedy of functional separation is not appropriate to today’s lively competition and adds uncertainty in a climate of economic downturn, at a time when the sector is facing highly risky investments.

For more information, please contact: Thierry Dieu, ETNO Communications Manager Tel: (32-2) 219 32 42 Fax: (32-2) 219 64 12 E-mail: dieu@etno.be

ETNO’s 42 member companies from 36 European countries represent a significant part of total ICT activity in Europe. They account for an aggregate annual turnover of more than 250 billion Euros and employ over one million people across Europe. ETNO companies are the main drivers of broadband and are committed to its continual growth in Europe.

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