International Institute of Communications

Shaping the policy agenda: TELECOMMUNICATIONS • MEDIA • TECHNOLOGY
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Competition Policy

US senators ask operators about net neutrality US senators ask operators about net neutrality

US politicians have pressed AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile US and Verizon for answers about their network prioritisation policies, after a study found the operators slowed speeds for certain data services but not others, reports Mobile World Live.

  • Tuesday, 20 November 2018

ITU quantifies impact of digitisation on economies

The ITU has published a study, “The economic contribution of broadband, digitization and ICT regulation” which finds that an increase in both fixed and mobile broadband penetration has a positive impact on the economy.

  • Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Protectionism in the digital world – report

Countries which have historically driven protectionist policies through tariff and other trade barriers are now extending their agenda into the digital world, according to research by law firm Gowling WLG.

  • Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Europe’s telecoms execs call for a new industrial policy

Europe’s telecoms CEOs have issued their latest vision for Europe’s next policy agenda, via the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO), highlighting that with 5G and artificial intelligence (AI) at the doorstep, “the network and services landscape is about to be revolutionised.

  • Monday, 22 October 2018

Policy recommendations for platform liability for illegal material

A report from the Centre on Regulation in Europe (CERRE), “Liability of online hosting platforms: should exceptionalism end?”, explores whether online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube benefit from a “liability free pass”.

  • Tuesday, 25 September 2018

South Africa plans spectrum liberalisation

The South African government is poised to liberalise radio frequency spectrum by allowing the free trading of spectrum assignments, subject to regulatory conditions, reports TechCentral.

  • Tuesday, 25 September 2018

A single broadband provider can be competitive – US ruling

A US appeals court has upheld a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ruling that broadband markets can be competitive even when there is only one internet provider. The FCC can “rationally choose which evidence to believe among conflicting evidence”,  the court ruling said.

  • Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Germany plans to strengthen competition powers Germany plans to strengthen competition powers

Germany, seeking to rein in internet giants like Google and Facebook, plans to bolster the powers of its competition watchdog to prevent such companies from becoming monopolies even before they achieve scale, reports Reuters.

  • Monday, 24 September 2018

UK ISPs back new rules for internet platforms UK ISPs back new rules for internet platforms

Three major internet service providers in the UK have said they would back a regulator to oversee rules for web giants – but warned lawmakers not to forget smaller firms or the bigger picture, reports the Register.

  • Monday, 23 July 2018

India combats fraudulent and intrusive calls India combats fraudulent and intrusive calls

India’s regulator, TRAI, has released the Telecom Commercial Communication Customer Preference regulation, which is aimed at cutting down the number of fraudulent and intrusive calls across the country, reports Firstpost.

  • Monday, 23 July 2018

India goes for strong net neutrality rules India goes for strong net neutrality rules

Eight months after India’s telecoms regulator came out swinging heavily in favour of the principle of net neutrality, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has finally agreed to adopt the same, reports the Wire.

  • Monday, 23 July 2018

ACCC Chairman speaks at IIC telecoms forum ACCC Chairman speaks at IIC telecoms forum

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has published the final report of its communications sector market study, which includes 28 recommendations and actions on competition and consumer issues.

  • Monday, 16 July 2018

GSMA calls European code a ‘political compromise’ GSMA calls European code a ‘political compromise’

Latest comment on agreement on the European Electronic Communications Code come from mobile industry body, the GSMA, which considers it “is a political compromise that fails to confront long term challenges for the European telecoms sector and could hinder deployment of 5G networks in Europe, weakening the region’s competitiveness and harming European citizens.”

  • Monday, 25 June 2018

Zimbabwe cuts mobile charges ahead of election Zimbabwe cuts mobile charges ahead of election

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) has reduced local mobile data and internet charges after concluding a cost modelling exercise for telecommunication network services in the country covering mobile, fixed and internet access networks, reports AllAfrica.

  • Monday, 25 June 2018

Critics say Europe’s e-privacy regulation will cut revenues Critics say Europe’s e-privacy regulation will cut revenues

On the heels of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Europe is gearing up for its next big privacy push, this time taking aim at data collection within messaging apps. But critics contend the proposed law goes too far, potentially stifling innovation and hurting profits, according to an article in OWI Insight.

  • Monday, 25 June 2018

Are Australian consumers paying for Google’s data collection? Are Australian consumers paying for Google’s data collection?

Google is under investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the country’s Privacy Commissioner following claims that it collects data from millions of Android smartphone users, who unwittingly pay their telecoms service providers for gigabytes consumed by the activity, reports Reuters.

  • Monday, 21 May 2018

FCC aims to reform educational band spectrum

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted a notice of proposed rulemaking to update the framework for licensing educational broadband service (EBS) spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band.

  • Monday, 21 May 2018

Australia’s ACCC issues final market report Australia’s ACCC issues final market report

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has published the final report of its communications sector market study, which includes 28 recommendations and actions on competition and consumer issues.

  • Thursday, 26 April 2018

States gang up on FCC on net neutrality

California is among the US states that could reintroduce net neutrality following the FCC’s overturning of the Open Internet Order.

  • Thursday, 26 April 2018

UK’s lays out universal service law UK’s lays out universal service law

The design of the UK's new universal service obligation (USO) for broadband has been specified in law, reports Out-Law.com. The UK government said the new USO would “ensure high speed broadband access for the whole of the UK by 2020”.

  • Thursday, 26 April 2018

South Africa consults on ICT ownership South Africa consults on ICT ownership

South Africa’s regulator, ICASA is to hold public hearings to discuss “the review and development of the authority position on historically disadvantaged persons and broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE)”, notes ITWeb.

  • Thursday, 26 April 2018

Gambling ad crackdown during primetime sport

Gambling advertisements will be banned during the broadcast of live sports between 5am and 8:30pm on commercial free-to-air TV, radio and pay TV, ACMA has announced.

  • Thursday, 22 March 2018

Finland’s regulator imposes price caps to boost broadband competition

High wholesale prices impede competition in the broadband market, so the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (FICORA) is imposing price caps on fibre local loops provided by the three market leaders in Finland, and regulation on copper local loops will be scaled down.

  • Thursday, 22 March 2018

Dutch competition authority takes note of telecoms regulation

Approval by the ACM (Dutch competition authority) of KPN’s acquisition of fibre operator Reggefiber was upheld by the Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal in February 2018 – and as a commentary in JD Supra says, in assessing the merger’s competitive effects, “the tribunal notably considered regulatory measures adopted pursuant to sector-specific telecoms regulation”.

  • Thursday, 22 March 2018

European Commission issues revised SMP guideline draft European Commission issues revised SMP guideline draft

The European Commission has published the drafts of revised SMP (significant market power) guidelines and an accompanying explanatory note. Both documents were sent to the Body of Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) for its opinion, with a view to adopting the guidelines in the second quarter of this year.

  • Thursday, 22 February 2018

Netherlands pronounces on the digital economy

The Dutch government says it will come out this year with a strategy to help entrepreneurs and people in the Netherlands to benefit from the digital economy, notes Telecompaper. Secretary of State Mona Keijzer stated in an opinion that digitisation is not only about economics, but also touches on relationships in society, on safety and on accessibility.

  • Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Benin transfers all subscribers of a mobile network Benin transfers all subscribers of a mobile network

Benin’s Authority for Regulation of Electronic Communications and Post (ARCEP) signed a decision on 17 January 2018 reassigning all subscribers of Globacom Benin (Glo Mobile) to the network of Moov Benin, reports TeleGeography.

  • Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Ofcom’s review of regulatory trends Ofcom’s review of regulatory trends

UK regulator, Ofcom, has issued its “International communications market report 2017”, which includes a section on regulatory context.

  • Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Challenges mount to US net neutrality repeal

A group of 21 US state attorney generals have filed suit to challenge the FCC’s decision to do away with net neutrality while Democrats said they needed just one more vote in the Senate to repeal the FCC ruling, reports Reuters.

  • Tuesday, 23 January 2018

FCC goes ahead with net neutrality repeal

As expected, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted on party lines “to restore the longstanding, bipartisan light-touch regulatory framework that has fostered rapid internet growth, openness, and freedom for nearly 20 years”.

  • Tuesday, 19 December 2017

European reaffirms support for net neutrality

The European Commission (EC) has reaffirmed its commitment to preserving net neutrality across Europe in the wake of a US vote to repeal its regulations, notes Mobile World Live.

  • Monday, 18 December 2017

Kenya to force mobile money competition Kenya to force mobile money competition

he Communications Authority of Kenya will force mobile phone operators to share money transfer infrastructure, reports The Standard.

  • Monday, 18 December 2017

UNICEF and European Commission release reports on children

Despite children’s massive online presence – 1 in 3 internet users worldwide is a child – too little is done to protect them from the perils of the digital world and to increase their access to safe online content, UNICEF said in its annual flagship report.

  • Monday, 18 December 2017

Australia highlights broadband consumer concerns

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has published a draft report detailing its market study of the communications sector, which includes 29 recommendations spanning a wide range of competition and consumer issues in communications markets.

  • Tuesday, 21 November 2017

FCC chairman wants FM radio enabled in mobile phones

FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, wants Apple to turn on the FM radio that’s hidden inside iPhones, reports The Verge. In a statement, he asked that Apple “reconsider its position, given the devastation wrought by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.”

  • Tuesday, 17 October 2017

European operators warn of risks to infrastructure under reform plans

ETNO, the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association, has issued a strong warning about the direction of the European Electronic Communications Code. It says it is “no ordinary legislation. This is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to unlock investment in world-class infrastructure, which is the core of a successful society and economy.

  • Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Australia decides not to mandate mobile roaming

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has decided not to “declare” (mandate) domestic mobile roaming. However, it says it has identified a range of regulatory and policy measures that could improve inadequate mobile phone coverage and poor quality of service in regional Australia.

  • Tuesday, 17 October 2017

European body issues statement on regulatory competence

BEREC, the body of European regulators, has issued a statement on the need for a minimum set of competences for independent national regulators (NRAs) for the new European Electronic Communications Code, as follows. First, independence is critical...

  • Tuesday, 17 October 2017

GSMA finds fault in wholesale access networks GSMA finds fault in wholesale access networks

The GSMA has brought out a report, “Wholesale open access networks”, which examines the performance of the wholesale open access network (WOAN) model (also known as single wholesale network, SWN) in five markets: Kenya, Mexico, Russia, Rwanda and South Africa.

  • Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Digital giants, data and European authorities

US tech giants are back in Europe’s spotlight, reports the Financial Times. Facebook and Google are both in the headlines over sanctions from European authorities, with Google kicking off its fight against a €2.4bn EU fine for abusing its market dominant position.

  • Tuesday, 19 September 2017

UK expert panel convenes on competition in the digital economy

The UK Chancellor has requested an independent review and consultation from an expert panel on the state of competition in the digital economy, to consider what the opportunities and challenges are for policy, both in the UK and internationally.

  • Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Bidders announced for US 5G mmWave auction Bidders announced for US 5G mmWave auction

It appears that three of the nation’s largest cable companies are not planning to bid on millimetre-wave spectrum licences in the FCC’s 5g spectrum auction, which starts on 14 November, reports Fierce Wireless.

  • Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Data traffic in India cools scope of OTT consultation

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has decided to reduce the scope of consultation for the proposed regulatory framework for over the top (OTT) platforms such as WhatsApp and Skype, according to a report by Live Mint.

  • Tuesday, 25 September 2018

New Zealand published issue paper on mobile market

New Zealand’s Commerce Commission has released an issues paper calling for submissions on its initial assessment of the mobile market that is being carried out under Section 9A of the Telecommunications Act 2001.

  • Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Deutsche Telekom makes demands about 5G auction Deutsche Telekom makes demands about 5G auction

Deutsche Telekom has outlined its demands for Germany’s upcoming 5G spectrum auction, rejecting calls for conditions to encourage a new operator or plans for regional licences, notes Telecompaper.

  • Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Lawsuits take aim at FCC and net neutrality; FCC fires back Lawsuits take aim at FCC and net neutrality; FCC fires back

Mozilla, the developer of the Firefox browser, has filed a legal brief against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), accusing the telecoms regulator of abdicating its role, ignoring public comments and failing to understand how the internet actually works, notes the Register.

  • Monday, 24 September 2018

Call for OTT TV regulation in Africa Call for OTT TV regulation in Africa

Spooked by Netflix’s growing popularity among African viewers, the continent’s largest television operator wants the disruptor to be regulated, reports Quartz Africa. “This call for regulation is a common call from established monopolies who find their grip on a local market challenged by a tech disruptor, and MultiChoice is no different.

  • Monday, 23 July 2018

Romania consults on public access tariffs for operators Romania consults on public access tariffs for operators

Romania's telecoms authority, Ancom, has opened a consultation on a draft decision for setting the maximum tariffs to be charged on operators exercising the right of access to state-owned public property, notes Telecompaper.

  • Monday, 23 July 2018

Germany’s regulator wants platforms on a level playing field Germany’s regulator wants platforms on a level playing field

Germany’s top telecoms regulator has set its sights on US technology groups such as Google and Facebook, insisting that providers of messaging and email services should be regulated just like ordinary telecoms companies, reports the Financial Times.

  • Monday, 23 July 2018

Competition law ‘not fit for purpose’ Competition law ‘not fit for purpose’

A British thinktank has issued proposals for a radical overhaul of regulation of the technology sector, which it argues is “unfit for purpose, incentivises bad behaviour and has failed to address ethical questions about big data and its use”.

  • Monday, 23 July 2018

BEREC finds 4-to-3 mobile mergers may push prices up BEREC finds 4-to-3 mobile mergers may push prices up

Mergers reducing the number of mobile operators from four to three may push prices for end-users higher in the short to medium term, even with remedies such as MVNO access, according to a study published by EU regulator BEREC.

  • Monday, 25 June 2018

India and Europe regulators sign up to net neutrality

RS Sharma, chair of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and Johannes Gungl, chair of European regulators body, BEREC, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) under which they advocate for effective electronic communications regulation.

  • Monday, 25 June 2018

Ofcom publishes on wholesale broadband, and universal service Ofcom publishes on wholesale broadband, and universal service

UK regulator, Ofcom, has issued two documents of wider interest. The first is an assessment of competition in wholesale broadband access markets, under which services in these markets are bought by telecoms providers to supply retail broadband services to residential and business consumers.

  • Monday, 25 June 2018

Chaos of Mother’s Day sale investigated by Taiwan’s regulator Chaos of Mother’s Day sale investigated by Taiwan’s regulator

Japan Communications says it has received Japan’s first regulatory certification under both the Radio Law and Telecommunications Business Law for an unlicensed LTE (u-LTE) base station – and JCI chairman Frank Seiji Sanda says, “u-LTE is the first step in the obsolescence of legacy mobile operators.”

  • Monday, 21 May 2018

New telecoms law in Democratic Republic of Congo New telecoms law in Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) National Assembly has adopted a new Telecommunications Act to update the nation’s aging legal framework for the sector, bring the rules in line with the country’s needs and to align with other relevant legislation, notes TeleGeography.

  • Monday, 21 May 2018

US Senate sends warning shot over net neutrality repeal US Senate sends warning shot over net neutrality repeal

The US Senate has voted 52-47 to disapprove the FCC’s recent order replacing 2015’s net neutrality rules, “a pleasant surprise for internet advocates and consumers throughout the country”, reports TechCrunch.

  • Monday, 21 May 2018

Cross-border data flows examined in Asian study

A paper published by Brookings looks at the importance of cross-border data flows, taking Asia as a model, and why they need regulating to stimulate the digital economy.

  • Thursday, 26 April 2018

Commission goes after Apple’s proposed music buy-up Commission goes after Apple’s proposed music buy-up

The European Commission has launched an investigation to assess Apple’s proposed acquisition of music app Shazam, expressing concerns the deal could reduce choice for users of music streaming services, reports Mobile World Live.

  • Thursday, 26 April 2018

Taiwan’s regulator warns on impact of price war Taiwan’s regulator warns on impact of price war

The telecoms regulator in Taiwan has warned that sparking a price war could impair how much operators are willing to invest in new services and networks, including 5G, reports Telecoms Tech.

  • Thursday, 26 April 2018

Australia seeks to modernise copyright laws

The Australian Government has announced a review of the Australian Copyright Act 1968 following on from the Productivity Commission’s review and report on Australia’s Intellectual Property Arrangements.

  • Thursday, 22 March 2018

Australia kicks off inquiry into wholesale data services

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has started a public inquiry to determine whether declaration of the domestic transmission capacity service (DTCS) remains appropriate in light of changes to the market, including the growth of commercial alternatives available to service providers, new National Broadband Network (NBN) products for business customers, and industry consolidation.

  • Thursday, 22 March 2018

India fines Google for ‘search bias’

India’s antitrust watchdog imposed a 1.36 billion rupees ($21.17 million) fine on Google for “search bias” and abuse of its dominant position, in the latest regulatory setback for the world’s most popular internet search engine, reports Reuters.

  • Thursday, 22 February 2018

GSMA criticises Latin American spectrum policies

The GSMA has issued a report, “Effective spectrum pricing in Latin America: policies to support better quality and more affordable mobile services”, highlighting that spectrum policies in Latin America are impacting the delivery of quality mobile services to consumers across the region.

  • Thursday, 22 February 2018

‘No change’ in VoIP policy in UAE ‘No change’ in VoIP policy in UAE

The UAE's telecoms regulator has clarified that there is no change in its policy towards voice over internet protocol (VoIP) applications, following complaints by users that phone and video service Skype had been disrupted, reports The National.

  • Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Q&A with Rob Strayer Q&A with Rob Strayer

Rob Strayer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Cyber and International Communications and Information Policy, US State Department

  • Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Australia opens inquiry into digital platforms

Australia’s government has directed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to start an inquiry into digital platform providers such as Facebook and Google.

  • Monday, 18 December 2017

Germany weighs up regulatory reform to speed fibre deployment

Germany’s telecoms industry should accelerate the build-out of the country’s high-speed broadband network, its regulator said, adding it was considering easier regulation on fibre internet to speed the process, noted Reuters.

  • Monday, 18 December 2017

FCC goes ahead with media ownership changes

As expected, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has loosened media ownership regulations in the US after a 3-2 vote by its executive which, while an expected development under the Trump administration, has drawn a mixed reaction, notes Rapid TV News.

  • Tuesday, 21 November 2017

US stock markets converge on telecoms

US equities indices are poised for a revamp to keep up with the evolving nature of communications, reports the Financial Times.

  • Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Germany’s regulator rules on zero-rating case

The German telecoms regulator, Bundesnetzagentur, has issued a decision on Deutsche Telekom's zero-rated StreamOn offers, ruling that the scheme is legal, but the company must make some modifications, notes ZDNet.

  • Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Estonian presidency pushes ahead with European reform

The European Council has granted the Estonian presidency a mandate to begin negotiations with the European Parliament on the new European Electronic Communications Code. “Our future is digital, and these rules are key to creating a gigabit society throughout the EU,” said Urve Palo, Estonia's Minister for Entrepreneurship and Information Technology.

  • Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Costa Rica’s regulator defends its decision on competition

Costa Rican telecoms regulator, Sutel, has ratified its decision to declare the nation’s wireless market competitive, rejecting an appeal from the Ombudsman’s Office of Costa Rica (DHR), reports TeleGeography.

  • Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Economics of Australia’s national broadband network in doubt

The CEO of Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) company, Bill Morrow, has confirmed what the industry has been saying for years: that the network builder’s economic model is broken and that – under current conditions – it may never turn a profit, report IT News.

  • Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Calls for digital taxation on internet giants

France, Germany, Italy and Spain want digital multinationals like Amazon and Google to be taxed in Europe based on their revenues, rather than only on their profits, their finance ministers said in a joint letter, reports Reuters. 

  • Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Swiss government upgrades its telecoms act

The Swiss Federal Council has adopted a partial revision of the Telecommunications Act (TCA), and the draft legislation will now be dealt with by parliament. The revision covers broadband services that are replacing traditional telecoms services and gives greater weight to consumer concerns, promotes competition and deregulation, and simplifies administration.

  • Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Costa Rican court intervenes on mobile regulation

Costa Rica’s constitutional court has ordered sector watchdog the Superintendency of Telecommunications (Sutel) to impose a temporary minimum data transfer rate for post-paid mobile internet users that exceed their fair usage allowance, notes TeleGeography.

  • Tuesday, 19 September 2017

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