What should be done to the European Electronic Communications Code?

The EU is good at producing new regulation, but weaker at deregulating old and overlapping ones. The precursor of the European Electronic Communications Code (Code), which regulates the European telecommunications sector, was drafted over 20 years ago.

Over two decades, the communications market has been transformed almost beyond recognition. It is a great time to re-evaluate the Code now, as the European Commission’s proposed Gigabit Infrastructure Act and consultation on the future of the electronic communications sector and its infrastructure are underway.

Legislation must move with times and promote European competitiveness, not obstruct it. Unnecessary, overlapping regulation must be removed, and only essential areas, such as frequencies, should be regulated. Regulation should serve as an enabler and aim more towards investment and growth.

Detailed regulation should trend towards more general regulation, such as competition and consumer law. In addition, there should be a shift from ex-ante regulation to ex-post regulation.

In particular, regulations regarding significant market power (SMP), universal service and end users’ rights should be examined. For example, the contract terms of telecom companies are not the bottleneck, but the contract terms, permits and prices of the public sector. They cause problems with the construction of the network and the availability of the existing physical infrastructure.

See more details about deregulation here.

Marko Lahtinen, Legal Affairs Manager, FiCom