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Europe

Revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive adopted in Europe Revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive adopted in Europe

On 6 November 2018, the Council of the European Union formally adopted the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), reports Lexology. “This closes a long, and at some moments, tense and conflictual process started in May 2016,...

  • Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Belgium’s ethics committee issues few sanctions Belgium’s ethics committee issues few sanctions

Belgium’s ethics committee for the telecoms sector, which regulates the use of premium numbers and paid SMS services, has issued just five sanctions from a total of 1,109 complaints received in the past five years, notes Telecompaper.

  • Tuesday, 20 November 2018

French president speaks out on the internet and democracy French president speaks out on the internet and democracy

French president Emmanuel Macron has insisted that new laws are needed to limit and protect online content and the internet itself, reports the Register. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Paris, Macron made repeated calls for additional regulation, and complained about the “false alternative” of self-regulation or government control.

  • Tuesday, 20 November 2018

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

European Data Protection Supervisor urges progress on e-privacy European Data Protection Supervisor urges progress on e-privacy

Giovanni Buttarelli, the European Data Protection Supervisor, has written that a “swarm of misinformation and misunderstanding surrounds the case for revising our rules on the confidentiality of electronic communications, otherwise known as e-privacy.

  • Monday, 22 October 2018

European Commission to back Wi-Fi system for connected cars European Commission to back Wi-Fi system for connected cars

The European Commission is set to approve rules for the use of Wi-Fi in cars, giving Volkswagen and Renault who have pursued this technology the edge over Daimler and others who invested in rival 5G networks, reports Reuters.

  • Monday, 22 October 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

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

Hong Kong Industry Discussion on Financial Data on Public Cloud

Members of the Asia Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (ASIFMA) and the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA) met on 3 Sep 2018 in Hong Kong to discuss the HK Securities and Financial Commission (FSC's) request for information around cloud and data storage.

  • Wednesday, 12 September 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

Ofcom takes aim at social media Ofcom takes aim at social media

The chief executive of UK regulator Ofcom, Sharon White, has warned regulatory action may be on its way for social media sites that publish news, in a move that brings the platform or publisher debate to the fore.

  • Monday, 23 July 2018

German multisector regulator, BNetZa, celebrates 20th anniversary

Bundesnetzagentur (BNetZa), the German multisector regulator, marked its 20th anniversary with an event in Bonn at which Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel gave the anniversary address.

“We started out 20 years ago as a regulatory authority. Today, we are the most important infrastructure authority in Germany,” said Jochen Homann, BNetZa president.

  • Monday, 25 June 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

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

Civil society plea for cybercrime negotiations

On 3 April 2018, the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), along with 93 civil society organisations from across the globe, sent a letter to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, requesting transparency and meaningful civil society participation in the Council of Europe’s negotiations of the draft Second Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime...

  • Thursday, 26 April 2018

European working party takes on social media

Working Party 29 (WP29), the group that unites European data protection authorities, has announced “its full support” for investigations by national privacy authorities into the collection and use of personal data by and through social media.

  • Thursday, 26 April 2018

Europe makes triple play on artificial intelligence  Europe makes triple play on artificial intelligence

The European Commission is proposing “a three-pronged approach to increase public and private investment in artificial intelligence (AI), prepare for socioeconomic changes, and ensure an appropriate ethical and legal framework.”

  • Thursday, 26 April 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

Italy’s competition authority reins in influencer marketing Italy’s competition authority reins in influencer marketing

The Italian competition authority (AGCM) has carried out a first enforcement initiative on influencer marketing, “one of the most innovative and powerful advertising tools”. The initiative aims to prevent the circulation through social networks of messages whose commercial intent is not clear.

  • Thursday, 22 February 2018

Dutch agency investigates wireless using light

The Dutch radiocommunications agency, Agentschap Telecom, has published research on the use of “Li-Fi” – light fidelity – which uses light for wireless communication.

  • Thursday, 22 February 2018

France’s regulator urges internet freedom in IoT devices France’s regulator urges internet freedom in IoT devices

French communications regulator, Arcep, has urged Europe-wide action to force manufacturers to reverse policies on handsets, tablets and smart speakers perceived to be limiting internet freedom, reports Mobile World Live.

  • Thursday, 22 February 2018

European operators say status quo is better than bad reform European operators say status quo is better than bad reform

The European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) has warned that the current negotiations on the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) may “result in a worsened climate for digital growth”...

  • Thursday, 22 February 2018

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

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

Fake news on the agenda of the EU’s digital commissioner

Fake news is a disease that European society needs to be “vaccinated” against, the EU’s digital commissioner Mariya Gabriel said as she opened a call for public comments on how the EU should respond to the spread of false information on internet platforms, reports Euractiv.

  • Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Wiretapping children’s watches banned in Germany

Certain smartwatches for children can no longer be sold in Germany as some of these models are equipped with a “wiretapping” function, reports Deutsche Welle. Germany’s Federal Network Agency, or Bundesnetzagentur, announced the ban saying that these watches can be classed as ‘unauthorised transmitters’.

  • Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Italy joins in digital taxation plans

Italy is putting forward plans for a digital sales levy as a European crackdown on how large US internet groups pay tax gathers momentum, 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

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

Europe seeks greater decryption powers for police

The European Commission is seeking to give police greater powers to decrypt private messages as part of a wider proposal to crackdown on criminals and terrorists, reports EUobserver.

  • 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

LSE proposes online platform watchdog for the UK

The LSE Truth, Trust and Technology Commission at the London School of Economics has published a report, “Tackling the information crisis”, in which the key proposal is for an independent platform agency for the UK that would be a watchdog – rather than a regulator...

  • Tuesday, 20 November 2018

GSMA criticises Germany’s regulator on 5G conditions

The GSMA, the body for mobile operators, has welcomed the German government’s decision to release the entire 3.4 to 3.8 GHz band (C-band), essential for the future development of 5G services globally. But it warns that some of the currently proposed conditions on the allocation of these frequencies may slow Germany’s 5G future.

  • Tuesday, 20 November 2018

European Parliament votes for communications code and BEREC

The European Parliament has voted in favour of establishing the European Electronic Communications Code and an enhanced mandate for the body of European regulators (BEREC), as proposed by the European Commission in September 2016, as part of the digital single market strategy.

  • Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Ofcom explores blockchain for managing telephone numbers Ofcom explores blockchain for managing telephone numbers

Ofcom, the UK regulator, has received £700k from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to explore how blockchain technology could improve how UK landline telephone numbers are managed.

  • 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

UK plans social media regulation; Ofcom publishes digital dependency research UK plans social media regulation; Ofcom publishes digital dependency research

UK ministers have started drafting proposals for new laws to regulate social media and the internet, according to the Daily Telegraph. “The move has been prompted by widespread consumer concerns over a range of online harms including child abuse, bullying, fake news and internet addiction.

  • Tuesday, 25 September 2018

UK launches 5G testbed in West Midlands

The West Midlands region has been selected to become the home to the UK’s first multicity 5G testbed. The UK government says the multimillion pound trial of high speed connectivity will pave the way for the future rollout of 5G across the UK, making the region the first in the UK ready to trial new 5G applications and services at scale.

  • Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Europe moves ahead with copyright law Europe moves ahead with copyright law

Controversial new copyright laws have been approved by members of the European Parliament, with changes made since July when the first version of the copyright directive was voted down. But critics say it remains problematic, reports the BBC.

  • Monday, 24 September 2018

ACCA Mission Trip to Indonesia Sep 5-6

Indonesian regulators from the Ministry of Information and Communication (Kominfo), Bank Indonesia (BI), Financial Services Authority (OJK), and the telecommunications regulator (BRTI), met with industry representatives from the cloud computing industry in various meetings between 5-6 Sep 2018.

  • Wednesday, 12 September 2018

France and Singapore agree on digital roadmap

Amid concerns about increasingly sophisticated online threats, Singapore and France have pledged to beef up cooperation on cybersecurity and exchange ideas on regulatory approaches to safeguarding user data in the digital sphere.

  • Monday, 23 July 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

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

Update on the EU Electronic Communications Code (EECC) Update on the EU Electronic Communications Code (EECC)

On 6 June 2018, the EU Council and Parliament reached a political agreement on the EECC. The EU Commission’s legal services will now finalise the text of the EECC to reflect this political agreement. Formal adoption and publication of the EECC in the Official Journal of the European Union are expected in December 2018.

  • Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Italy’s 5G auction plans face opposition Italy’s 5G auction plans face opposition

Italy’s 5G spectrum auction plans have been cast into doubt as reports emerged that broadcasters have launched a legal appeal against rules for vacating the 700 MHz band, while separately the country’s mobile operators were tipped to boycott the whole process, notes Mobile World Live.

  • Monday, 25 June 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

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

EU fast tracks cross-border data freedom EU fast tracks cross-border data freedom

EU negotiators have sealed an agreement to allow non-personal data to move freely across the bloc and ban national laws that require companies to store data within a country’s borders, reports EurActiv.

  • Monday, 25 June 2018

Europe data protection head has strong words for platform players over GDPR

The European Data Protection Supervisor, Giovanni Buttarelli, has set an agenda to tackle the “unbalanced ecosystem” being created in the digital economy. In a blog post, he has strong words for the big platform players: “The digital information ecosystem farms people for their attention, ideas and data in exchange for so called ‘free’ services.

  • Monday, 21 May 2018

IIC Italy - AGM and proposed activities for 2018 IIC Italy - AGM and proposed activities for 2018

On May  9th 2018,  the members of the IIC - Italian Chapter held their annual general meeting at the Agcom venue at the presence of the President Augusto Preta, commissioner Antonio Nicita, Agcom chapter representative, and other members of the chapter.

  • Monday, 21 May 2018

UK lawmakers start internet regulation inquiry

The UK House of Lords Communications Committee has invited contributions to an inquiry on the regulation of the internet, under which the Committee will explore how the regulation of the internet should be improved, and whether specific regulation is required or whether the existing law is adequate.

  • Thursday, 26 April 2018

Challenges for public service media

The Nordic Information Centre for Media and Communication Research (Nordicom) has published Public Service Media in the Networked Society, a collection of papers on the role of public sector media.

  • 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

Metadata processing under scrutiny in Europe Metadata processing under scrutiny in Europe

An item in the law blog, Out-Law.com, notes that EU law makers are scrutinising the issue of metadata processing in the context of new EU laws on privacy and electronic communications (the e-privacy regulation). The Bulgarian presidency of the Council of Ministers has published a document that has highlighted that there are different views across national governments in the EU on the rules that should apply to metadata processing.

  • Thursday, 22 March 2018

European Union reaches agreement on spectrum policy, amid industry concern

The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission have reached a provisional political agreement on spectrum policy envisioned in the European Electronic Communications Code, including the availability of radio spectrum for 5G by 2020 in the EU, 20 years investment predictability for spectrum licences, and enhanced coordination and peer review of planned radio spectrum assignment procedures.

  • Thursday, 22 March 2018

Dutch agency notes vulnerability of digitisation of the power supply

The digitisation of the power supply will make it vulnerable due to the increasing risk of error in the software, and not only as a result of cyberattacks, reports Telecom Paper, noting a report by the Dutch Council for the Environment and Infrastructure (Rli).

  • Thursday, 22 March 2018

France proposes law on operators and cybersecurity France proposes law on operators and cybersecurity

The French government has proposed legislation on cybersecurity that requires telecoms operators and online service providers to play a more active role in protecting the country's communications, reports Telecompaper.

  • Thursday, 22 February 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

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

Germany paves the way for cross-border IoT

Germany’s regulator, Bundesnetzagentur, has published rules for the cross-border marketing of mobile numbers which will further facilitate the global sale of machine-to-machine (M2M) applications.

  • Tuesday, 19 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

Illicit TV devices fail safety checks

Those tempted to buy illicit TV access devices such as the fabled Kodi box may get their fingers burned, literally, says a report from Electrical Safety First and FACT, one of the UK’s intellectual property protection organisations.

  • Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Poland allows wireless testbed

The Polish senate has passed a law allowing the country’s mobile operators to test new wireless technologies without incurring frequency utilisation fees, notes TeleGeography.

  • Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Serbia adopts new communications law

The Serbian government has adopted a new law on electronic communications that will bring the nation into full compliance with the EU’s 2009 regulatory framework, notes TeleGeography.

  • Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Child online safety highlighted in UK report and green paper

A review by the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) evidence group, made up of researchers from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Middlesex University and the University of Central Lancashire, has highlighted the major risks, opportunities and emerging trends for children online.

  • 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

Spectrum assignment report issued by European Commission

A report for DG Connect at the European Commission examines the approaches used by member states for authorising and assigning spectrum with a view to determining which methods might be most appropriate in the context of future 5G services.

  • Tuesday, 17 October 2017

UK report on AI holds back on regulation

Nine months after the UK government commissioned an independent review into artificial intelligence (AI), the authors have revealed their findings, reports Wired.

  • Tuesday, 17 October 2017

UK’s Ofcom warned on investment strategy

A proposal by UK regulator, Ofcom, to force the wholesale network operator, Openreach, into significantly cutting the wholesale price of its 40 Mbps fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) product for internet service providers (ISPs) has “been dealt a blow” after the government warned it would “disincentivise investment” in new “full fibre” (FTTP/H) networks.

  • Tuesday, 17 October 2017

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