ECTA Regulatory Conference 2007
On 28-30th November 2007, ECTA held it's 8th annual Regulatory Conference in Brussels.
Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding addressed ECTA's annual conference at the opening of the event on 28 November. The full text of her speech is available by clicking here.
Main points as follows:
- Recognise link between effective regulation and competition and investment. It is here where improvements are most needed
- EU needs to accelerate regulatory efforts in areas where competition slow and where persistent bottlenecks remain
- Functional separation important tool & particularly where discrimination is persistent and is particularly valuable for non-price discrimination. Proportionate and flexible tool where other remedies insufficient. Regulators should conduct impact and cost benefit analysis. Recognise the benefits achieved in the UK case.
- FS principles consistent with Commission stance against regulatory holidays on fibre. Only competition is relevant and not the materials used to deliver services. EU rules ensure that where regulation is applied an appropriate return on investment is assured
- Inconsistency is another important issue that must be addressed under the Framework Review. 3 examples of problems given : VoIP, mobile termination rates and pan-European business services. Inconsistency results in additional costs, undermines competition and may provide a cover for protectionist policies. EU proposal for telecoms market authority will address & aim to focus on consistent regulation, cross-border regulatory issues and protect EU consumers.
- Deregulatory signal through reduction in number of markets in the Relevant Market Recommendation. Recognise concerns over removal of some wholesale markets. But open to regulators to intervene at national level where 3 criteria met.
- Spectrum & propose technology and service neutrality subject to well-defined exceptions. Lack of service neutrality has resulted in de facto oligopolies or monopolies & limits media plurality. Where possible prefer 'licence-free' spectrum
In addition to Commissioner Reding's keynote address, conference attendees also heard from Vice-President of the EPP Gunnar Hokmark, ERG Chair Roberto Viola, Communications Directors General from the two forthcoming EU Council Presidencies & Slovenia and France and from Board members of regulators in the UK, France and Germany.