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Revision of the European Code of Electronic Communications

Revision of the European Code of Electronic Communications

IIC EUROPE CHAPTER EVENT

18 - 19 July 2019, rome

Following the launch of the Europe Chapter back on 26 March 2019, we hosted the first event on the European Code of Electronic Communications (EECC) in Rome as workshop held under Chatham House Rule.

Participants included senior delegates from DG CONNECT, BEREC, national regulatory authorities, national competition authorities, and industry stakeholders.

Hosted by Augusto Preta (Italy Chapter Chairman) and chaired by Francesco Liberatore (Brussels Chapter Chairman), the workshop provided an update on the current status of the EU Electronic Communications Code, as well as its challenges and opportunities.

Many of the participants highlighted the risk of a fragmented transposition of the EECC into national laws as one of the main challenges for the attainment of the objective of a Digital Single Market.

Another common issue emerging from the debate was the need to ensure that the application of the EECC has the long-term sustainability of the industry as one of its main objectives. In this respect, there was a general consensus that BEREC and DG CONNECT can and should play a crucial harmonization role through the provision of formal and informal guidance to the Member States.

At a more granular level, the debate centered on the complexity of the EECC provisions aimed at promoting co-investments and wholesale-only networks as tools to achieve the objective of universal roll-out of very high capacity networks, as well as the promotion of investment, connectivity and competition.

On the one hand these provisions are very detailed – more detailed than one might have traditionally expected in a directive – in an attempt to provide legal certainty and to limit the risk of diverging transposition at national level. On the other hand, these provisions are complex and subject to potentially different interpretations. In addition, in applying these provisions, it will be important to comply with general competition law, which will continue to be applicable alongside the EECC to any co-investments or wholesale-only networks.

Finally, some commentators raised the issue of 5G and potentially harmful interference, calling for a revision of the applicable KPIs and levels of tolerance under EU law.

We hope that the participants enjoyed this initiative, and valued its contribution to a debate aimed at pursuing the objectives of the EECC in a harmonized manner across Europe.

Our next Europe Chapter events will be in Brussels in the early Autumn and London in December 2019.

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