European Commission’s telecoms framework review – public consultations’ initial results

European Commission’s telecoms framework review – public consultations’ initial results

In the last quarter of 2015, the European Commission kick-started its review of the regulatory framework for telecoms and also consulted on the EU speed and quality targets beyond 2020. The ambitious consultations covered a wide range of EU policies, Directives and Regulations crucial to the development of the Digital Single Market. Earlier this month, the Commission published a summary of the responses ahead of the proposals due later this year.

The public consultation on Europeans’ broadband needs attracted 1551 responses, predominantly from individuals and organisations based Germany and France. The preliminary results indicated that users’ needs in terms of internet speed and quality were not currently fulfilled, users’ expectation is to see the use of internet and services dramatically increasing by 2025 and policy measures are required to support the development of infrastructure in line with their future needs.

The consultation on the EU telecoms rules gathered 244 responses predominantly from organisations based in Belgium, Germany, France and Italy. The consultation covered issues such as regulations on network access, spectrum management and wireless connectivity, sector specific regulations for communications services, universal service rules, and institutional set up and governance.

The European Commission highlighted some interesting trends including a consensus from stakeholders around the need to review the current universal service regime. However, results also highlighted the disparity of views on issues such as the regulation of electronic communications services, and whether the focus of the regulation should be on service or infrastructure competition.

Of course, the difficult bit is now using this disparate evidence to bring forward proposals that enhance the Framework, with the Commission bringing forward its legislative and policy proposals later this year.