Press Release: ETNO comment on the draft parliamentary report on the Electronic Communications Code
Our view on the Code, as MEP Del Castillo publishes Draft Report
Brussels, 21 March 2017 – ETNO, the Association representing Europe’s leading providers of digital communications and services, is committed to play a positive and constructive role in the on-going legislative process on the European Electronic Communications Code. The work of the Rapporteur Pilar Del Castillo on the Draft Report as well as the upcoming work whole ITRE Committee are essential to ensure a positive outcome of the legislative process.
The Code is a crucial piece of legislation, which has the potential to significantly stimulate the deployment of Europe’s future networks and to unlock new opportunities for innovation, consumer choice and growth.
We welcome the objectives of the Commission draft, but we think that improvement in the legislative text is needed if we are to ensure that such objectives are actually achieved. The Draft Report provides an important platform to make sure that the final text of the Code effectively addressees the concerns of those who invest and innovate. More specifically:
- All Europeans should benefit from the gigabit society: we need to ensure that the Code promotes an inclusive outcome in terms of network coverage. For this reason, it is fundamental to ensure a full respect of the technology neutrality principle, allowing all suitable technologies to contribute to the digitisation of the Continent.
- Network investment should be unequivocally prioritised. For this reason, the full range of investment models should be incentivised, including investment by individual operators. At the same time, investment-depressing measures such as mapping or re-regulation of mobile markets should be avoided.
- Innovation and consumer-choice should be at the core of service regulation: Europe’s ability to innovate in digital services should be encouraged. For this reason, the scope of the Electronic Communication Services definition should be clarified and revised with a view to remove rules that are already covered in horizontal legislation. The overall regulatory burden should be reduced to allow all players to innovate on an equal footing, which in turn will create more consumer choice for digital services.
- Mobile innovation and 5G should inspire spectrum reform: the draft of MEP Del Castillo, which strengthens the European Commission proposals, is a vital step in the right direction. Spectrum harmonisation and longer licenses are essential to achieve 5G.