On 14 September 2016 the Commission unveiled an ambitious overhaul of EU telecommunications law. The proposed reforms are the centrepiece of what the Commission is calling its “Connectivity Package”. This is a bundle of legislative proposals and related initiatives released under the Commission’s Digital Single Market strategy whose common goal is to dramatically increase the speed and geographic coverage of high quality internet connectivity across the EU over the course of the next decade.
Regulators in the European Union and United States are racing to rewrite telecom rules for a host of new technologies ranging from over-the-top voice to ultra high-speed wireless broadband. But does the regulatory mantra of “new rules for new times” represent the foundation of the new digital economy or its undoing? Are regulations mandating an open internet the key to unlocking new innovation or a risky drag on investment? Do we need common spectrum assignments to scale deployment or can technically agile radios manage a pastiche of spectrum allocations? Will
On 19 April 2016 the European Commission published its Communication ‘ICT Standardisation Priorities for the Digital Single Market‘. The Communication was part of the wider ‘Digitising European Industry’ announcement on 19 April – read our blog here for full details of what was announced. The ICT Priorities Communication thrusts into the limelight an obscure but vitally important area of policy: the setting of common technical specifications for ICT products and services, particularly those related to the ability of different devices to communicate with each other. According to the Communication, common
DSM Watch: Commission presents measures to digitise European Industry Today, the European Commission published its Communication on “Digitising European Industry – Reaping the full benefits of a Digital Single Market” together with several other Communications and Staff Working Documents. These documents set out a series of measures and proposals intended to reinforce the EU’s competitiveness in digital technologies and to ensure that every industry in Europe can fully benefit from digital innovations.
In its decision in Sanoma Media v Viestintävirasto the Court of Justice of the European Union signals a technical but potentially significant clarification in the application of the Audio Visual Media Services (AVMS) Directive. This may trigger some national regulators to re-examine their approach and some broadcasters may, in turn, face pressure to adjust the amount of advertising content within their schedules or their presentation of that content. The Directive, currently subject to possible review as part of the Digital Single Market initiative, is the foundation of much of the
Last week the Commission released a summary of the responses received in two of the three public consultations launched in September 2015, in what was the opening salvo of concrete policy initiatives under the Commission’s Digital Single Market strategy. The geo-blocking consultation sought evidence on the effect of technical barriers and other unjustified restrictions imposed by websites and online service providers on cross border access to goods and services made available over the internet. It ended on 28 December 2015. The focus of the platforms consultation was to gather evidence on
On October 26, 2015, the European Commission published the Policy Report of Working Group 4 (WG4) of the Alliance for Internet of Things Innovation (AIOTI). The AIOTI is a group of ICT industry stakeholders advising the Commission’s Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG Connect) on policy and regulatory matters relating to the Internet of Things (IoT). The Policy Report makes recommendations to the Commission in relation to the IoT in four key areas: privacy, security, liability and net neutrality. It is the outcome of six months of
On 27 May, the newly elected UK government unveiled its legislative agenda for the forthcoming parliamentary session. In doing so, it confirmed that it will introduce a new law intended to reform the current legal framework governing the investigatory capabilities of UK law enforcement agencies. The announcement in the Queen’s Speech merely referred to the introduction of “new legislation to modernise the law on communications data”. However, additional briefing notes released at the same time refer to an Investigatory Powers Bill covering all investigatory powers, including those relating to communications
The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) of the UK Parliament has published its much anticipated report into the secret capabilities of the UK intelligence and security agencies (MI6, MI5 and GCHQ), in particular their powers to intercept electronic communications and acquire communications data. The full report is available here. The key recommendation of the report (entitled “Privacy and Security: A modern and transparent legal framework”) is that the UK’s current laws governing the activities of the agencies be replaced in their entirety by a new, transparent, legal framework. The report
On 11 September 2013 the European Commission announced its proposals for the most far reaching reform of the European Union’s telecoms market in 26 years. The Commission describes this legislative package as an intermediate step towards the ultimate goal of creating a genuine fully integrated single market in telecommunications across the EU. Whilst the Commission remains of the view that a genuine single market in line with this vision will require a single EU regulator responsible for interpreting and implementing a harmonised legal framework, the package does not propose a single