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European Commission to meddle with telecoms regulation
Wednesday 31 October 2007 12:40:00 by John Hunt

The Financial Times is reporting that the European Commissioner, Viviane Reding, is due to release proposals next month which will create a European telecoms regulator to advise the Commission. The new regulator would have a task of improving consistency of rules across the EU, helping smaller operators challenge the national monopolies and also boosting development of ultra-fast broadband networks.

A draft of the proposal has been distributed around Brussels and Ofcom, the UK telecoms regulator, is concerned that the Commission could secure a veto right for any measures put forward by national watchdogs, undermining their position.

"The harmonisation of regulation across Europe works only when it respects the freedom of independent nat­ional regulators to respond to conditions in their own markets."

The revised EU telecoms framework must "strike the right balance between promoting consistency and harmonisation in European regulation, and the need to reflect different conditions in national markets".

Ed Richard (Chief Executive), Ofcom

Whilst it seems like this could be good to encourage broadband development, concern is justified as the rules set out by the EU are not necessarily coherent with what is required in every member state. With a right to veto what goes on everywhere, member states could find themselves unable to adapt suitably to what the market requires as it does not fit with European policy or their time frame.

A majority of member states and the European parliament must back the new telecoms framework, and it would be unlikely to come into effect until 2009 at the earliest.


Posted by ianwmptc over 9 years ago
Oh no, not more interference. Why is that even though improvement is very rare they still fiddle with everything. Just when it was all getting better, eh.
Posted by carrot63 over 9 years ago
So, from the headline, I guess you dont have a position on this then?, Good to see TBB presenting the news in a neutral and objective way.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
There was a story about this or something similar recently on this site, again i say good its about time we had regulation that has some balls to it which really does kick some operators and ISPs into line. I dont see anything negative, if the operators are keeping customers happy and obeying guidelines they have nothing to fear.
Posted by stilloptimistik over 9 years ago

Agree with Carpetburn. OFCOM are probably more concerned that their shortcomings will be exposed and that they will be expected to actually be proactive.
Posted by KarlAustin over 9 years ago
The EU has a history of not making things better, just introducing more red-tape and making things worse - because "one size fits all" clearly doesn't.
Posted by plesbit over 9 years ago
How can a single regulator help across a variety of countries all with different market forces, infrastructure and needs? The whole idea is laughable - which probably means the Commission will back it all the way.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Its no more laughable than OFCOMs website where you may have a full LLU service, you go through their nice little wizard telling them you have no broadband and no phone connection and their resolution is to phone the ISP for resolution of the matter.
Posted by ianwmptc over 9 years ago
Cannot argue with any of this, I agree OFCOM are about as much use as a chocolate teapot except that if you can't make tea with it you can at least eat the chocolate. It just seems, though that when the EU commission gets involved it all goes even further downhill. Even when you remove the lies and the hype in the national press you still have ample evidence of this.
Posted by charlieelston over 9 years ago
Europe is probably about 10 to 15 years behind the Uk in terms of it's large monopolies opening up it's networks and allowing smaller newcomers a bite of the cherry. We've been there done that and learned that medling by regulators stopped BT from developing a Nationwide Optical fibre Network to give NTL and the cable companies the edge leaving BT to rumble on using an old copper based Network which they utilised brilliantly to allow Broadband at respectable speeds.
Posted by Bruciebaby over 9 years ago
Thank God! Who was it that reduced your mobile charges whilst roaming eh? not the mobile comps. Any national regulating body is nearly always hijacked by the industry, the regulator always seems to have a nice little reward of a job waiting within the industry. The EU regulatory regime is just to big to be bought and thats why the comps don't like it.
Posted by Viatel over 9 years ago
It would be nice to have a regulator that was able to step back from the incumbents stated requirements and simply push what small providers and end users need, this is unfortunately not what happens currently, so maybe this will be a good thing.
Posted by ruskin0 over 9 years ago
Only thing stopping BT upgrading to fibre is the fact they dont want to share it ( LMAO). About time OFCOM was kicked into touch, what exactly have they done anyway to sort BT out once and for all. Harmonisation with Europe can only be a good thing. It is not so long ago people above were saying we are behind Europe with respect to speeds etc., wake up people.
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