European Competitive Telecommunications Association


ECTA’s first reaction on a new EU Code for the networks of the future

Brussels, 14 September 2016: Today the European Commission kick-started the review of the telecoms regulatory framework by publishing its legislative proposal for a directive establishing the new European Electronic Communications Code. It consolidates and amends the existing EU Directives on electronic communications (the telecoms framework).

ECTA welcomes the renewed commitment to safeguarding competition, end-user choice and the appropriate level of consumer protection put forward by the proposal. We also favour the reference to stable and consistent conditions for investors, operators, and service providers as we evolve further towards very-high capacity networks. 

Reinforcing the Significant Market Power (SMP) access regime currently in place, which is based on regulatory obligations on dominant operators, is an important element to achieve our goal of a Connected Society. We strongly welcome the proposal that the SMP regime continues to stand at the core of the regulatory framework 

Effective access to ducts and poles of the SMP operator, is essential and welcome. However, in many cases this will not be the single "silver bullet” to ensure effective competition.
Physical access continues to be what enables alternative operators to compete, invest and innovate and therefore to offer higher speeds at more affordable prices and facilitates further development towards very high capacity networks. It plays an important role for users’ take-up without jeopardising adequate return of investments for all operators involved.
The Code should put more focus on physical access to specified network elements and/or facilities, which is currently the main remedy across Europe, to ensure that competition continues to be effectively enabled in practice. It should provide the regulatory backstops to avoid risks to competition and resulting risks of ultimately harming consumers and business users.

"The Gigabit Society is at the corner of a street and challengers want to continue to be part of and often lead the fibre adventure. They are ready to invest and stand behind effective and sustainable competition as the driver of efficient investments” indicated Gijs Phoelich, Chairman of ECTA. "We believe that co-investment can also be a means to ensure efficient investment in non-replicable parts of the networks. ECTA members support the emphasis given to co-investment in the proposal, and in particular the possibility for all operators to invest according to their ability, but it should be based on fair and reasonable conditions, and put in actual practice.”

All details of the text will need to be analysed carefully and ECTA and its members are eager to work with the European Parliament, the Member States and the European Commission to get citizens and end-users connected and to provide them with the best choice and quality at affordable prices to build a digital economy and society.

ECTA (the European Competitive Telecommunications Association) is the pan-European pro-competitive trade association that represents more than 100 of the leading challenger telecoms operators across Europe. For over a decade, ECTA has been supporting the regulatory and commercial interests of telecoms operators, ISPs & equipment manufacturers in pursuit of a fair regulatory environment that allows all electronic communications providers to compete on level terms. Our members have been the leading innovators in Internet services, broadband, business communications, entertainment and mobile.

Contact: Aurélie Bladocha, Senior Public Affairs Manager
+32 478 78 61 00/ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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