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Shaping the policy agenda: TELECOMMUNICATIONS • MEDIA • TECHNOLOGY
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Governance

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

Zimbabwe merges broadcasting and telecoms regulators Zimbabwe merges broadcasting and telecoms regulators

Zimbabwe’s cabinet has approved a proposal to merge the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (Baz) and the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) in a development meant to foster technological convergence, reports the Chronicle.

  • 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

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

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

GSMA weighs in on Colombia’s regulatory regime GSMA weighs in on Colombia’s regulatory regime

The GSMA has put forward a series of regulatory and public policy proposals to boost Colombia’s digital economy ahead of next month’s presidential elections, reports Telecompaper.

  • Thursday, 26 April 2018

The impact of the GDPR The impact of the GDPR

On 25 May the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force for the 28 member states, but the impact is already far wider as the regulation affects any organisation that keeps data on an EU citizen, which includes all the global internet giants.

  • Thursday, 26 April 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

Turkey aims to extend media powers to content providers Turkey aims to extend media powers to content providers

Turkey will expand the powers of its radio and television watchdog to include overseeing online content providers, under a draft law submitted to parliament on which the main opposition party said amounted to digital censorship, reports Reuters.

  • Thursday, 22 February 2018

Tunisia updates regulatory priorities Tunisia updates regulatory priorities

The Tunisian telecom authority INT (Instance Nationale des Telecommunications) has published a summary of its main priorities for 2018, which include a number of new initiatives alongside its ongoing activities in the areas of consumer protection, quality of service, and regulation of wholesale broadband offers, notes Telecompaper.

  • Thursday, 22 February 2018

Cyril Ramaphosa mentions technology in state of nation address

Cyril Ramaphosa, the new president of South Africa, included the following in his state of the nation address: “Our prosperity as a nation depends on our ability to take full advantage rapid technological change. This means that we urgently need to develop our capabilities in the areas of science, technology and innovation.

  • 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

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

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

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

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

Colombia set to merge telecoms and TV regulators

Colombia’s Ministry of Information Technology and Communications (MinTIC) has presented a bill to Congress that will merge the telecoms regulator, the Commission for the Regulation of Communications, CRC) with the National Television Authority (ANTV),...

  • 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

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

New Zealand introduces updated telecoms act

New Zealand’s Communications Minister Simon Bridges has introduced a bill to update the country’s telecoms act with a focus on increasing regulatory oversight and improving service quality, reports Mobile World Live.

  • Tuesday, 19 September 2017

European Commission to review roaming charge ban

The European Commission has already issued a call for tenders to carry out a study on the cost of providing wholesale roaming services in the EU/EEA countries, soon after the 15 June 2017 rule on banning roaming charges for fair usage came into effect.

  • 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

Thailand should focus on digital economy, says Internet Society director

Thailand needs to upgrade the National Broadcasting and Telecom Commission (NBTC) to focus more on coordinating various elements of the digital economy and society, says Rajnesh Singh, director for Asia-Pacific of the Internet Society, as the Nation reports.

  • Tuesday, 19 September 2017

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

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

UAE releases media activity regulations

The National Media Council (NMC), the federal authority tasked with supervising all media activities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has recently issued electronic media activity regulations, notes law firm Clyde&Co.

  • Thursday, 26 April 2018

Falkland Islands steps up communications regulation

The Falkland Islands, one of the more remote territories, now has a communications regulator in place in Susannah Nightingale, who has published the first regulator's annual report.

  • Thursday, 22 March 2018

US court rolls back robocall rules

A US federal appeals court has rolled back rules intended to deter irritating telemarketing robocalls, saying they were too broad, notes the Washington Post.

  • Thursday, 22 March 2018

Falsehoods travel faster and more broadly than truth

The Guardian reports a paper, published in the journal Science, in which MIT researchers describe an analysis of a vast amount of Twitter data: more than 125,000 stories, tweeted more than 4.5 million times in total, all categorised as being true or false by at least one of six independent fact-checking organisations.

  • Wednesday, 21 March 2018

somalia goes ahead with first telecoms regulator somalia goes ahead with first telecoms regulator

As expected, Somalia’s government has decided to set up the country’s first regulatory body for the telecoms sector, the National Communications Authority, notes Mobile World Live.

  • Thursday, 22 February 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

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

FCC issues plan on new economics office

The US FCC has issued a plan for a new Office of Economics and Analytics (OEA), part of reforms for the agency in organisational structures, authorities, and practices “to better incorporate economic analysis as well as data management as part of the agency’s regular operation”.

  • Tuesday, 23 January 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

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

China sends out digital economy signals

China is willing to deepen global cooperation in the digital economy to gain new momentum and expand global economic growth, the head of the country’s internet regulatory body has said.

  • 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

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

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

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

Industry pitches for self-regulation of ads

A trade association whose members include Google, Facebook and Twitter will pitch self-regulation instead of a proposed federal law requiring more disclosure for political advertising on their online platforms, reports Bloomberg.

  • 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

Report on good regulatory design

Regulations help governments support economic growth, social welfare and environmental protection. The challenge is to design clear, coherent and efficient regulations and to effectively implement them, according to a report by the OECD and the Korea Development Institute, which is about facilitating good regulatory design and implementation.

  • 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

OECD reports on Mexico’s telecoms reform

Mexico’s 2013 telecom reform has brought benefits, spurring competition that has increased access and brought down mobile internet costs from among the highest in advanced economies to among the lowest, according to the OECD Telecommunication and Broadcasting Review of Mexico 2017.

  • Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Caribbean states to update telecoms legislation

The five member states of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) are updating their telecoms framework with legislation, reports the St Kitts & Nevis Observer. A new electronic communications bill is expected to come before the parliaments of the member states.

  • Tuesday, 19 September 2017

EU member states reject extending spectrum licence terms

EU member states have rejected a European Commission proposal to extend licences for wireless radio spectrum to last at least 25 years – one of the cornerstones of the EU executive’s new attempt to overhaul telecoms law, reports Euractiv.

  • Tuesday, 19 September 2017

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