08 December, 2015

ETNO statement on the Framework Review Consultation

Last night, the European Commission closed its Public Consultation on the review of the Telecoms Framework (link).

This is the first step in a historic reform process, that will lead to the review of Europe’s current rules on electronic communications networks and services.

It is a critical reform, if we are to unlock new opportunities for European citizens and businesses. Broadband networks have become the very backbone of our society, technological change is happening at an ever increasing pace, consumers are eagerly taking-up innovative services.

For this reason, ETNO filed yesterday its response to the Consultation, reflecting the importance of the review and putting the stress on practical ways to support broadband network deployment and innovative services in the main interest of consumers.

We have looked at three main principles:

  • Competition. Competitive electronic communications markets are key to achieving the DSM goals and delivering better services. The right competitive conditions are those that maximise the incentives for operators to outperform competitors with more innovation and more investment. We should review access conditions that encouraging a wait-and-see approach to network deployment.
  • Investment. We believe that the way to go is a light-touch and more market-based approach. Commercial negotiations between network operators should become the rule and any remaining network regulation should be technology-neutral and based on a future-proof analysis of the retail market dynamics. Cost-orientation requirements should be lifted.  Access regulation should be kept only in cases where retail competition is not present and substantially simplified to one layer.
    As data traffic and consumer usage are more and more going mobile, spectrum reform is also crucial to investment. The review should favour and enhance harmonisation in the assignment of spectrum, enabling economies of scale and increasing market certainty.
  • Innovation. We need to review our set of rules with a view to smashing barriers to innovation. Telecoms can innovate more if outdated rules are simplified and streamlined. Horizontal regulation should be the rule, while sector-specific regulation the exception. Regulatory pressure should be alleviated overall, to leave more space for innovation. This will also be key to allow a fair competitive environment and deliver innovative services to EU consumers.

ETNO's full response to the Public Consultation questionnaire will be published at the same time as the European Commission disclosure of all responses.

A courtesy summary of ETNO’s response will also be made available in the coming weeks.

For more, read this blog post by Steven Tas, ETNO Executive Board Chairman: Three ingredients for successful reform

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