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Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC)

31-01-2019

On 14 September 2016, the European Commission proposed an updated regulation on the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC). The proposal aims at transforming BEREC into a fully fledged agency. The Commission proposes allocating new tasks to BEREC and granting it legally binding powers. New tasks include providing guidelines for national regulatory authorities (NRAs) on geographical surveys, developing common approaches to meet end-user interests, and also developing common ...

On 14 September 2016, the European Commission proposed an updated regulation on the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC). The proposal aims at transforming BEREC into a fully fledged agency. The Commission proposes allocating new tasks to BEREC and granting it legally binding powers. New tasks include providing guidelines for national regulatory authorities (NRAs) on geographical surveys, developing common approaches to meet end-user interests, and also developing common approaches to deliver peer-reviewed opinions on draft national measures (e.g. radio spectrum assignments) and on cross-border disputes. In June 2018, Parliament and Council found a compromise in trilogue. The BEREC office will have legal personality, but not BEREC itself, which remains a body of NRAs. Parliament and Council also agreed on giving new tasks to BEREC and on moving from simple majority to two-thirds majority for key decisions of the Board of Regulators and of the Management Board. The final act was signed on 10 December 2018, and entered into force on 20 December 2018. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

The Audiovisual Media Services Directive

25-01-2019

Following political agreement with the Council, a vote in plenary on 2 October 2018 saw Parliament adopt the updated EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive, based on the proposal presented by the Commission on 25 May 2016. The overarching goal of the proposal was to bring about a balance between competitiveness and consumer protection. It therefore aimed to introduce flexibility when restrictions only applicable to TV are no longer justified, promote European films, protect minors and tackle hate ...

Following political agreement with the Council, a vote in plenary on 2 October 2018 saw Parliament adopt the updated EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive, based on the proposal presented by the Commission on 25 May 2016. The overarching goal of the proposal was to bring about a balance between competitiveness and consumer protection. It therefore aimed to introduce flexibility when restrictions only applicable to TV are no longer justified, promote European films, protect minors and tackle hate speech more efficiently. The proposal also reflected a new approach to online platforms. Following adoption of the revised directive, EU Member States now have to bring the new rules into national law by 19 September 2020. Sixth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

The new European electronic communications code

16-01-2019

European telecom rules were last updated in 2009. To make them fit for the digital era the Commission proposed a new Electronic Communications Code in September 2016. The provisional agreement reached in June 2018 was adopted by the Parliament and then by the Council in November 2018. Member States have until 21 December 2020 to transpose the new directive into national legislation. The new rules include measures to stimulate investment in and take-up of very high capacity networks in the EU as well ...

European telecom rules were last updated in 2009. To make them fit for the digital era the Commission proposed a new Electronic Communications Code in September 2016. The provisional agreement reached in June 2018 was adopted by the Parliament and then by the Council in November 2018. Member States have until 21 December 2020 to transpose the new directive into national legislation. The new rules include measures to stimulate investment in and take-up of very high capacity networks in the EU as well as new spectrum rules for mobile connectivity and 5G. The Code also ensures that all citizens have access to affordable communication, including the internet. It increases consumer protection and security for users and facilitates regulatory intervention. Furthermore, it introduces a 'reverse 112 system' which would alert citizens by text message in case of imminent serious emergencies or disasters (from June 2022). During negotiations the Parliament secured for citizens cheaper caps for intra-EU calls and SMS from 15 May 2019. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Roaming: One Year After Implementation

12-11-2018

This in-depth analysis was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the ITRE Committee. It examines the impacts one year after implementation of the EU’s Roaming Regulation that introduced Roam Like at Home (RLAH), by reviewing both the retail and wholesale markets. The retail roaming market was found to be performing well for most stakeholders. However, in the wholesale market, adjusting the wholesale price cap is necessary so that MVNOs may compete more effectively.

This in-depth analysis was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the ITRE Committee. It examines the impacts one year after implementation of the EU’s Roaming Regulation that introduced Roam Like at Home (RLAH), by reviewing both the retail and wholesale markets. The retail roaming market was found to be performing well for most stakeholders. However, in the wholesale market, adjusting the wholesale price cap is necessary so that MVNOs may compete more effectively.

Implementation and functioning of the '.eu' top level domain name

12-10-2018

The scope of the problem could have been defined in more precise terms. Furthermore, it remains unclear how the proposed options could help achieve one of the two general objectives of the initiative namely enabling or building an online European identity as the options (including the preferred one) are mostly concerned with the technical improvements of the regulatory framework. Stakeholder views do not appear to be fully reflected in the report and it is unclear how they fed into the IA. A more ...

The scope of the problem could have been defined in more precise terms. Furthermore, it remains unclear how the proposed options could help achieve one of the two general objectives of the initiative namely enabling or building an online European identity as the options (including the preferred one) are mostly concerned with the technical improvements of the regulatory framework. Stakeholder views do not appear to be fully reflected in the report and it is unclear how they fed into the IA. A more thorough integration of the recommendations of the Regulatory Scrutiny Board, which appear to be only partially addressed, would have benefited the quality if the IA.

EU electronic communications code and co-investment: Taking stock of the policy discussion

05-02-2018

The EU regulatory framework on electronic communications sets common rules on how electronic communications networks and services such as telephony and internet broadband connections are regulated in the European Union (EU). While the revision of this framework has started, a debate arises on how best to foster investment in the EU for deploying the very high capacity networks that are increasingly needed for 5G mobile services, as well as e-services such as e health, e administration, cloud computing ...

The EU regulatory framework on electronic communications sets common rules on how electronic communications networks and services such as telephony and internet broadband connections are regulated in the European Union (EU). While the revision of this framework has started, a debate arises on how best to foster investment in the EU for deploying the very high capacity networks that are increasingly needed for 5G mobile services, as well as e-services such as e health, e administration, cloud computing and connected cars. One of the proposals of the European Commission is to amend the current regulatory framework in order to facilitate co-investment (i.e. when several investors agree to invest together) for building new high-capacity network infrastructure. However, the European Parliament and Council both want to amend the text significantly. This briefing discusses the policy context and the rationale behind the rules on co investment proposed in the draft EU electronic communications code, and assesses the main areas of convergence and divergence between the initial positions of the co legislators. Furthermore, some key issues for discussion are highlighted, including what types of co-investment agreements and assets should be exempted from regulation, the degree of competition safeguards needed and the extent of national regulators' oversight of the co-investment projects.

The '.eu' top-level domain

26-09-2017

The .eu top-level domain ('.eu TLD') is based on Regulation (EC) No 733/2002 and was launched in December 2005. EURid, a Belgian not-for-profit organisation, manages the .eu TLD registry; .eu domain names can be registered through a network of 712 'accredited registrars'. According to the latest Commission report on the .eu TLD, at the beginning of 2015, with almost 4 million registrations, the .eu TLD ranked eleventh among the biggest top-level domains in the world (with '.com' heading the list) ...

The .eu top-level domain ('.eu TLD') is based on Regulation (EC) No 733/2002 and was launched in December 2005. EURid, a Belgian not-for-profit organisation, manages the .eu TLD registry; .eu domain names can be registered through a network of 712 'accredited registrars'. According to the latest Commission report on the .eu TLD, at the beginning of 2015, with almost 4 million registrations, the .eu TLD ranked eleventh among the biggest top-level domains in the world (with '.com' heading the list) and sixth among country code top-level domains (ccTLD). The inception impact assessment on the review of the .eu TLD regulation, published by the Commission, pointed to problems which should be tackled, e.g. market development. The reviewed regulation should also simplify the management of the .eu TLD. Between May and August 2017, the Commission ran public consultations with the aim of reviewing the existing .eu TLD legislation. The results of the consultations are not yet available.

Reform of the e-Privacy Directive

30-08-2017

In January 2017, the Commission tabled a proposal for a regulation on privacy and electronic communications which would replace the current 2002 e-Privacy Directive. The main objectives of the review are: enhancing security and communications confidentiality; defining clearer rules on tracking technologies such as cookies; and achieving greater harmonisation among Member States. Stakeholders are divided on certain issues, including on the basic need for a new measure to protect confidentiality in ...

In January 2017, the Commission tabled a proposal for a regulation on privacy and electronic communications which would replace the current 2002 e-Privacy Directive. The main objectives of the review are: enhancing security and communications confidentiality; defining clearer rules on tracking technologies such as cookies; and achieving greater harmonisation among Member States. Stakeholders are divided on certain issues, including on the basic need for a new measure to protect confidentiality in e-communications. Some national parliaments have made comments on the proposal, and discussions are progressing in Council. In the European Parliament, rapporteur Marju Lauristin (S&D, Estonia) presented a draft report to the Civil Liberties Committee on 21 June 2017, and this is expected to be voted in October 2017.

New radio frequencies for mobile internet services

03-07-2017

While radio spectrum management is predominantly a national competence, EU policy plays an increasingly important role in its coordination and harmonisation. The EU actively seeks ways to harmonise use of the different bands of the spectrum to meet the ever-growing demand for wireless mobile broadband. Nevertheless, spectrum allocation in the EU remains fragmented and varies among Member States. Following developments in the international framework, as well as the considerations of high-level expert ...

While radio spectrum management is predominantly a national competence, EU policy plays an increasingly important role in its coordination and harmonisation. The EU actively seeks ways to harmonise use of the different bands of the spectrum to meet the ever-growing demand for wireless mobile broadband. Nevertheless, spectrum allocation in the EU remains fragmented and varies among Member States. Following developments in the international framework, as well as the considerations of high-level expert groups and a public consultation, the Commission adopted a long-term strategy for use of the 470-790 MHz frequency band. The strategy proposes to repurpose the 694-790 MHz band, to use it for wireless broadband rather than television broadcasting. The latter is to have priority in the 470-694 MHz band. Under the agreement among the co-legislators, Member States will reassign the 694-790 MHz band by 30 June 2020. This reallocation may be delayed by up to two years in duly justified cases, examples of which are given in the agreed text. Broadcasting services will maintain priority in 470-694 MHz band at least until 2030, but the Member States will have certain flexibility to use this range for other purposes. This updates an earlier edition, of December 2016: PE 595.856.

Wholesale roaming regulation: A precondition for 'roam like at home'

03-07-2017

In 2015 the Council and European Parliament agreed in Regulation 2015/2120 that on 15 June 2017 roaming charges for mobile phone use would be abolished in the EU. After that date, 'roam like at home' (RLAH) would become a reality for all Europeans. The regulation did not, however, address the wholesale roaming market, on account of the need to investigate market conditions in more depth. A review for the European Commission concluded that national wholesale roaming markets are not working well and ...

In 2015 the Council and European Parliament agreed in Regulation 2015/2120 that on 15 June 2017 roaming charges for mobile phone use would be abolished in the EU. After that date, 'roam like at home' (RLAH) would become a reality for all Europeans. The regulation did not, however, address the wholesale roaming market, on account of the need to investigate market conditions in more depth. A review for the European Commission concluded that national wholesale roaming markets are not working well and need regulatory intervention. It therefore proposed a regulation establishing the maximum level of wholesale roaming charges that telecoms operators can charge each other for calls, text messages and data, to take effect from 15 June 2017. An agreement was reached in trilogue that lowers significantly the wholesale data caps originally proposed, to take into account the falling unit price of data over time. As a result, since 15 June 2017 retail roaming charges have disappeared in the EU and EEA/EFTA countries This means that RLAH is now the reality in the EU. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. To view earlier editions of this briefing, please see: PE 599.290, 22 February 2017.

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