International Institute of Communications

Shaping the policy agenda: TELECOMMUNICATIONS • MEDIA • TECHNOLOGY
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Governance

Concern over regulatory oversight of Australian consumer complaints body Concern over regulatory oversight of Australian consumer complaints body

Australian telecoms industry group, the Communications Alliance, says it is concerned over a government proposal for the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to oversee the complaints body, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO), reports Computerworld.  “Industry has never controlled the TIO – nor should we,” Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton said.

  • Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Singapore’s PM urges trade rules update for digital Singapore’s PM urges trade rules update for digital

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has called on leaders of Asia-Pacific economies to do much more to shape rules for emerging areas in the digital economy, such as electronic payments and digital identity, reports the Straits Times.

  • Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Market inquiry into mobile broadband in South Africa Market inquiry into mobile broadband in South Africa

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has announced that it will begin a market inquiry into mobile broadband services, reports BusinessTech. “In a statement on 16 November, Icasa said that the purpose of the inquiry is to assess the state of competition and determine whether or not there are markets or market segments within the mobile broadband services value chain which may warrant regulation.

  • 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

Algeria and Sudan regulators exchange good practice

Algeria’s posts and electronic communications regulatory body (Autorité de régulation de la poste et des communications électroniques, ARPCE) and Sudan’s telecoms regulatory agency (Autorité de régulation de la poste et des télécommunications, ARPT) have signed a partnership agreement during the sixteenth annual session of Arab Regulators Network held on October 1-4, 2018...

  • 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

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

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

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

Algeria’s regulator takes new name Algeria’s regulator takes new name

Algeria’s telecoms regulator has changed its name from the Authority for Regulation of Post and Telecoms (Autorite de Regulation de la Poste et des Telecoms, ARPT) to the Authority for Regulation of Post and Electronic Communications (Autorite de Regulation de la Poste et des Communications Electroniques, ARPCE).

  • 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

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

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

Canada’s regulator publishes broadcasting report; minister launches 5G plan

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has published a digital report on the future of broadcasting in Canada. The report proposes new tools and regulatory approaches to support the production and promotion of audio and video content made by and for Canadians.

  • 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

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

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

India’s regulator issues OTT consultation

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has re-started the debate on regulating over the top (OTT) services such as WhatsApp and Skype by issuing a consultation paper, “Regulatory framework for OTT communication services”. “This consultation paper seeks to analyse and discuss the implications of the growth of OTT services…

  • 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

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

Sharp rise in spam calls projected in the US Sharp rise in spam calls projected in the US

Nearly half of all cellphone calls in the US next year will come from scammers, according to First Orion, a company that provides phone carriers and their customers caller ID and call blocking technology. The Washington Post reports that the company “projects an explosion of incoming spam calls, marking a leap from 3.7% of total calls in 2017 to more than 29% this year, to a projected 45% by early 2019”

  • Tuesday, 25 September 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

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

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

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

Microsoft calls for regulation of facial recognition software Microsoft calls for regulation of facial recognition software

Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith, has called for regulation of facial recognition software in the US, reports VentureBeat. “In a democratic republic, there is no substitute for decision making by our elected representatives regarding the issues that require the balancing of public safety with the essence of our democratic freedoms.

  • 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

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

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

Colombia steps back from regulatory merger Colombia steps back from regulatory merger

The Colombian government has formally withdrawn an October 2017 bill seeking to merge two of the country’s regulatory bodies, TeleGeography reports.

  • 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

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

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

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