16 October, 2012

Launch of EC consultation on review of the recommendation on relevant markets: An opportunity for a more targeted and investment-friendly regulatory approach

ETNO welcomes the launch today of a consultation on the revision of the recommendation on relevant markets which identifies the markets susceptible to regulation by national regulators. ETNO believes the revision of the recommendation is an opportunity to reduce regulation in response to increased competition, convergence and rapid technological changes, and to further improve the environment for high-speed broadband investment, in line with the recent announcements by Vice-President Kroes.

The electronic communications market has undergone a profound transformation since 2007 when the current Recommendation was adopted. In 2007, there were no smartphone ‘apps’, much less social networks and only a fraction of the competitive high-speed broadband deployments we see today. Strong competitors on different levels of the internet value chain have emerged and competitive platforms such as cable and mobile networks are increasingly providing broadband services. These developments offer the opportunity to take a bold step towards the deregulation of the sector in line with competition developments”, says Daniel Pataki, ETNO Director.

In view of today’s unprecedented consumer choice and the increased use of new broadband-enabled applications such as VoIP, the review of the recommendation should lift regulation on the remaining retail market for access at a public telephone network at a fixed location.

Regulation of wholesale broadband markets should be reduced as a result of convergence. Other platforms, including mobile, have a real potential to exercise a competitive constraint on fixed broadband, as recently highlighted by Vice President Kroes.[1] The revision presents an important opportunity to lighten the regulatory burden on the sector and spark further investment and innovation in the internal market.

ETNO is looking forward to take part in the open consultation and to bring its contribution to the debate.

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

[1] http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-12-667_en.htm?locale=en

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