A recent study published by the EC should make interesting reading for SCL members with an interest in this area. Review recent publications by the EC in this area.
The European Commission has published a strategic study undertaken by the law firm of Hogan & Hartson and consulting group Analysys Consulting Limited on the regulation of electronic communications within the EU. The study, ‘Preparing the next steps in regulation of e-communications - a contribution to the review of the e-communications regulatory framework, one of a series published by the EC, was published at the same time as the EC released a formal report on the functioning of the regulatory framework.
‘Our study focuses on changes needed to make the current regulatory framework on electronic communications more robust in preparation for the next decade’, says Gerry Oberst of Hogan & Hartson ‘We suggested approaches for possible changes to the regulatory framework and developed a set of 65 recommendations for the Commission to consider’.
The Hogan & Hartson study examined obstacles to the European internal market, including a survey of major market players, with the goal of identifying ways to improve competition and internal market efficiency in electronic communications networks and services. In addition, the study reviewed harmonisation mechanisms for regulation in certain markets, with emphasis on the electronic communications framework, Access and Authorisation Directives. It also analysed consumer protection aspects of electronic communications regulation, including measures that safeguard user privacy and security of on-line communications, dispute resolution and publication of information, such as tariffs for calls and access.
The current regulatory framework for electronic communications was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in 2002, and became applicable from 2003. The EC has announced that it will conduct public proceedings on the functioning of this framework by the middle of 2006 and issue recommendations on possible changes by the end of the year. For more on that, see http://europa.eu.int/information_society/policy/ecomm/tomorrow/index_en.htm
See also Mike Conradi’s article in the latest issue of Computers & Law.