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Posts Tagged ‘telecom package’

The European Commission,

DG Information Society and Media has launched a public consultation on future universal service principles in the area of electronic communications networks and services. … This consultation is part of the European Commission’s follow-up to its Declaration on universal service to the European Parliament in the context of the negotiation of the ‘Telecom Package’ in 2009 and the second periodic review of the scope of universal service in 2008 (COM(2008) 572).

The aim is to facilitate an open-ended and wide ranging public debate relating to the place of universal service provision in electronic communications in a competitive and rapidly-evolving digital environment. The consultation is facilitated by a questionnaire which sets out the key areas for discussion.

For your contributions:

What is a Universal Service?

Universal service is an economic, legal and business term used mostly in regulated industries, referring to the practice of providing a baseline level of services to every resident of a country.

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First meeting of the Board of Regulators of BEREC and the Management Committee of the Office 28 January 2010, Egmont Palace Brussels.

Commissioner Reding speech.

All the participants today therefore have an important responsibility to make this particular two-tier structure a success. You are all now wearing, in addition to your “national hat” as national regulator, a “European hat” as members of BEREC. I understand well that this new European dimension of the work of telecoms regulators will be a learning process – for stakeholders, for the media and also for the staff of national regulators. However, you will see that at the end of the day, the exchange of regulatory expertise across national borders and the close interaction within BEREC will over time strengthen the independence of national regulators and enhance the quality of their work.

Commissioner Kroes speech

Regarding your mission, the EU Legislator has established BEREC to ensure the “consistent application” of the telecoms Regulatory framework. This is quite different from “harmonisation.” In Europe’s diverse telecom markets, I do not believe in a one-size-fits-all approach will work. We are all aware that BEREC is not a European super-regulator . However, as a body of experienced national regulators I think you are well placed to deliver this consistent application of the regulatory framework. … In that sense I am placing my trust in you – as experts in these markets – to aim high in your work. I look forward to a close working relationship on important dossiers, such as next generation access networks, universal service, roaming and net neutrality – to name but a few. Here we will, I am sure, benefit from our combined expertise to find the right solutions.

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Who did expect that for the second reading in the European Parliament? 2:0 for the internet community. The Trautmann report was carried with the famous amendment know as “138” which had been retabled to plenary by Greens, ALDE,… which is the following:

(fb) applying the principle that no restriction maybe imposed on the fundamental rights and freedoms of end-users without a prior ruling of the judicial authorities, notably in accordance with Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union on freedom of expression and information, save when public security is threatened, in which case the ruling may be subsequent.

A slap in the face of the French government and their attacks on the mere conduit principle of electronic communications. Additionally the “compromise” recital 12 was carried on top:

3a) Recognising that the internet is essential for education and for the practical exercise of freedom of expression and access to information, any restriction imposed on the exercise of these fundamental rights should be in accordance with the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Concerning these issues, the Commission should start a wide public consultation.

The discussion in Council is not anymore at the level of Coreper but it should be on the agenda of the next Telecom Council after it is translated by the jurists-lingusts. However the Presidency is unable to say when the next Telecom council would take place because they await the designation of the new industry & telecom Minister.

As you will read in the diagramme here : the ball is now in the camp of the Council which can decide to accept all EP amendments, including 138 thus, or to open conciliation. If a conciliation procedure is open, then it is a total new procedure.

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