Implementing the European Electronic Communications Code
DIGITALEUROPE welcomes the adoption of the new European Electronic Communications Code. In consolidating the existing four Directives constituting the European regulatory framework for electronic communications into one single piece of legislation, and in further harmonising certain elements thereof, the Code has the potential to offer a more easily accessible and more single market-friendly set of rules to bring the European telecommunications market into the digital age.
For the Code to live up to its potential, it is however crucial that it is incorporated into Member State law not only in a timely manner but also in a way that is true to its spirit and its overall political goals: a) to create incentives for the substantial infrastructure investments required to achieve 5G rollout and gigabit connectivity; and b) to create a genuine single market for innovation and the development of new digital communications services.
In this position paper, DIGITALEUROPE highlights some areas where national implementation should not diverge from the Code. The Code provides sufficient flexibility for competent authorities to apply the rules in a targeted and proportionate manner in accordance with national and local market situations, without the need for further flexibility to be introduced in national legislation. DIGITALEUROPE urges Member States to use this flexibility with caution and limit additional provisions to those instances where there is a genuine, demonstrable national circumstance in the market.
Furthermore, whilst generally fully harmonising end-user rights provisions, the Code does leave significant areas where Member States can deviate from the Code. Electronic communications services are no longer national in nature; diverging from the single European rulebook will cause fragmentation in the Digital Single Market, which will hinder innovation and limit the services available to European users.
Table of content of the full paper
Extension of universal service obligations to affordable adequate broadband
Rule governing the provision of information services
Transposition of key definitions
General authorisation and information obligations
Technical feasibility assessments for providing access to emergency