This week ROCCO reports from the BEREC De-brief where I met BEREC’s current chairman Fatma Barros (Anacom Portugal) and the next chairman Wilhelm Eschweiler (Head of the Germany Regulator BNetzA) and understood how things are progressing on their work items.
Not big news but interesting information for the future. Actually, I was expecting that they would reveal their orientation on the most important topics they are dealing with, however, either they did not want to anticipate anything, or they do not have specific orientations yet, because they only reported on what they did and what they will do, without providing us with their specific views. Roaming specific news in Orange
- Elections of the Berec Chair 2017 and Vicechairs 2016
- Summary of the BEREC Plenary Workshops – 9 Dec
- Outcomes of the 25th Berec plenary meeting in London 9-10 December
- Next BEREC main meetings/events
New Chairs Announced
Chair 2017: Sebastien Soriano – President Arcep
Vice chair 2016: Angelo Cardani – President Agcom
Vice Chair 2017: Jenk Don – Vice Chair ACM
Summary of the BEREC Plenary Workshops
Last week in London, before the Plenary, there was the NRA’s workshop focussing on the opinion of BEREC on the European Commission’s request for the regulatory framework of electronic communicaions’ review.
In London there was also a very interesting joint BEREC – FCC (US Authority) workshop on Net Neutrality (NN) focussing on:
- Net Neutrality in US
- Overview of Net Neutrality in Europe
- Debate between the FCC and BEREC representatives
BEREC Chair said it was an opportunity to present the views on both sides, US and Europe, e.g. the most important issues of NN in US and what was just approved in Europe + the impacts of the regulation on aspects such as special services, reasonable traffic management, what will be the issues that we should expect next etc.
The most important achievement is that BEREC was asked to work on the guidelines on NN and that’s the main task they have for 2016. In BEREC’s view, it was very important to hear about the US experience and to strenghten the cooperation between BEREC and the US Regulator. They committed to work more tightly on this matter.
The following list of the documents that were approved last week in London at the BEREC Plenary:
– BoR (15) 192: transparency and compatibility of international roaming tariffs
– BoR (15) 193: outcomes of the 3rd Berec Stakeholder Forum meeting that was held in Brussels last 15th October
– BoR (15) 194: report on oligopoly analysis and regulation
– BoR (15) 195: report on the public consultation on the draft Berec report on oligopoly analysis and regulation
– BoR (15) 196: case studies on ip-based interconnection for voice services in the EU
– BoR (15) 198: decision on the Berec expert working groups)
– BoR (15) 199: report on monitoring implementation of the BEREC common positions on wholesale local access, wholesale central access and wholesale high quality access at fixed location – phase 2: they said that this topic is important because it shows how regulators work on common positions and then BEREC does this monitoring exercises to see how the 28 National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) implement the common positions
– BoR (15) 201: report on equivalent access and choose for disabled end users
– BoR (15) 200: outcome of the public consultation on the draft Berec equivalent access and choice for disabled end users
– BoR (15) 206: most important BEREC input and opinion on the review of the RF for electronic communications. That was voted unanimously and there was a common opinion on many issues
– BoR (15) 211: BEREC benchamarking report on termination rates at European level
– BoR (15) 212 report on the outcome of the public consultation on the draft work program for 2016
– BoR (15) 213 BEREC work program for 2016
– BoR (15) 214: opinion on price transparency and regulatory oversight of cross border parcels delivery, taking into account possible regulatory insights from the electronic communications sector
In particular, as far as the documents 206 and 213 are concerned, there were specific presentations:
BoR (15) 206 – Most important BEREC input and opinion on the review of the framework for electronic communications
Scope and objectives: connectivity issues (i.e. management of spectrum, development of network technologies, end users protection and in particular how to ensure their protection in the future framework), spectrum, governance of the electronic communication regulation, universal service…
Electronic service definition: in the new market environment, a clarification is needed. It was agreed that the scope of the framework cannot cover all the OTT players. Each service needs to be considered on a case by case basis. Effective competition is key to meet Europe’s high speed broadband connectivity ambitions and regulators will need more flexible tools to protect and promote it. Ubiquituous connectivity is also an ambition, but physiscal networks are and will remain national. The appropriate mix of network technologies and models of competition will depend on the particularities of each market.
- Spectrum is a key input to ensure the speed connectivity but the connectivity objectives and spectrum needs will vary from one country to another.
- Top down harmonization could risk sterilizing spectrum and resulting in inefficient use of this scarce resource. Instead, BEREC would support promoting harmonized approaches to spectrum management from the “bottom up”.
- End users protection: general consumer law and approach is becoming more and more important, but sector-specific rules will continue to be critical
- The framework minimum harmonization approach should be retained to enable agile responses to emerging consumer challenges.
- Member states should retain the ability to define the universal service obligations for their respective markets, including in relation to broadband and mobile services.
- Regulatory convergence is happening – the record shows that Berec worked well
Berec has identified several areas of improvement:
- The key to BEREC’s success and added value is its rootedness in its member regulators, and this must remain at the heart of the regulatory system,
- The BEREC system would benefit from an alignment of the competences of its members with those of Berec (financial and operational autonomy),
- No need for major changes in Berec’s institutional structure.
Moreover: the future regulatory framework should be coherent with other legislative initiatives + BEREC should avoid to have a too complex regulatory system, there is the need to make it as simple as possible.
BoR :(15) 213 Work program 2016: procedural steps:
a) First there was an intense discussion on the work program, then approval for public consultation at the 3rd plenary – public consultation 2-30 October 2015 – stakeholder forum 15/10 – london Plenary in December
b) Stakeholder consultations:
- BEREC received 14 contributions from stakeholders
- The comments were focused on:
- Important role of Berec in review process
- No trade off between competition and investment
- Less regulation is more appropriate to promote innovation in the telco sector
c) Items of most interest: NGA/OTT/Oligopolies/NN, Universal service directive.
As stakeholders widely supported priorities/hot topics, no major changes were necessary.
Priorities for 2016:
- REVIEW INPUT: Monitoring/assessing, Oligopolies, spectrum, ott, universal service
- TSM FOLLOW UP: NN Guidelines, roaming input on fair use policy, sustainability abolition of retail roaming surcharges, wholesale market review
- MULTIANNUAL Benchmark on MTRs, FTES, implemantation of cost reduction directive, qualitative review, periodic reports IR, annual reports)
a) Keynote speech by the EC Commissioner Oettinger
b) State-of-play of the Berec Guidelines on NN
a) Commissioner Oettinger went to the meeting in London and presented his views on the future collaboration of BEREC in the regulatory framework. BEREC will be closely involved in the discussions of the most important issues of the future of regulation.
b) there was a workshop on NN before the Plenary: BEREC will have to lay down guidelines on Net Neutrality that will be published by August 2016.
Berec contact network: 4-5 February Krakow (Poland)
Berec board of regulators and management Committee of the Berec office: 25-26 February – Rotterdam (Netherlands)
Federica Romano – Head of Legal & Regulation