International Institute of Communications

Shaping the policy agenda: TELECOMMUNICATIONS • MEDIA • TECHNOLOGY
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Innovation & Investment

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

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

Japan Communications has go-ahead for unlicensed LTE base station

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

US agencies band together for radar consolidation

Four agencies looking to band together to create a combined radar system want more information from commercial spectrum users and the public on their plan for the project, notes FWC.

  • 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

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

5G forecast show Europe ‘further adrift’

CCS Insight, a market researcher, has raised its near-term forecast for global 5G connections following “impressive progress” made by the industry over the past six months.

  • 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

Myanmar starts universal service fund

Myanmar will collect tax on telecoms operators to extend the telecoms network to remote areas of the country, reports the Myanmar Times.

  • Thursday, 26 April 2018

FCC sets out 5G spectrum auction plans

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking comment on proposed application and bidding procedures for the auctions of the 28 GHz and 24 GHz spectrum bands to promote the development of 5G technology, the internet of things, and other advanced spectrum-based services.

  • 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

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 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

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

Proposal for a federal 5G network in the US

Telecoms and law professor Rob Frieden has written about a US National Security Council initiative that identifies the security and public safety benefits in having a government owned 5G wireless network leased by commercial ventures.

  • 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

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

Q&A with Yasmin Mahmood Q&A with Yasmin Mahmood

Datuk Yasmin Mahmood, CEO, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC)

  • 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

FCC pairs with health body in rural cancer support

The US Federal Communications Commission’s Connect2Health Task Force (C2HFCC) has announced that the FCC and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have joined forces, signing a memorandum of understanding that will focus on how increasing broadband access and adoption in rural areas can improve the lives of rural cancer patients.

  • 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

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

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

FCC enacts next-gen network reforms; announces millimetre wave spectrum

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has enacted reforms that it says will better enable providers to invest in next-generation networks. The FCC is also seeking comment on additional reforms, including how the FCC can expedite rebuilding and repairing broadband infrastructure after natural disasters.

  • 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

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

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

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

South African draft mobile data regs could have unintended effects South African draft mobile data regs could have unintended effects

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa's (ICASA’s) recent draft regulations on mobile data expiry and changes to out-of-bundle billing practices for telecoms operators could unintentionally raise data prices, reports ITWeb.

  • Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Voice calling apps in India may no longer be an issue

A boost in data usage from the use of voice calling apps may mean the long-running debate into their regulation in India may turn out to be a “non-issue”, a source at the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) told The Economic Times.

  • Tuesday, 19 September 2017

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

FCC approves satellite broadband launch FCC approves satellite broadband launch

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved a plan by Elon Musk’s SpaceX to build a global broadband network using satellites, reports Reuters.

  • Thursday, 26 April 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

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

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

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

Togo aims to build internet access Togo aims to build internet access

The government of Togo, in an effort to ensure the provision of universal electronic communications services in the country, has adopted a draft decree that defines the rules applying to such services, notes TeleGeography.

  • Thursday, 26 April 2018

Q&A Ieva Martinkenaite Q&A Ieva Martinkenaite

This month Policy World interviews Ieva Martinkenaite, PhD, Vice President, Telenor Research, Head of Telenor-NTNU AI-Lab / Start IoT

  • Monday, 26 March 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

International tax system changes could target tech giants

The OECD says more than 110 countries and jurisdictions have agreed to review two key concepts of the international tax system, responding to a mandate from the G20 finance ministers to work on the implications of digitisation for taxation.

  • 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

India relaxes spectrum rules in favour of investment

India has approved relief measures for the telecoms sector, revising limits on spectrum holdings and allowing operators longer to pay for airwaves won at auction, with a view to freeing up funds for investment, improving ease of doing business and allowing for consolidation in the sector, reports TeleGeography.

  • Thursday, 22 March 2018

Q&A Magnus Ewerbring Q&A Magnus Ewerbring

We asked Magnus Ewerbring, CTO of Ericsson in APAC, for his views on the future of 5G, its relevance for consumers and how networks will be ‘sliced’ to support different applications in the future.

  • 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

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

OECD releases latest figures on mobile and broadband trends

Mobile termination rates – the rates operators charge each other to connect calls – dropped by an average of 42% in OECD countries between 2014 and 2017 as a result of increased regulation and competition, according to new data released by the OECD.

  • 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

Expert report on AI warns of malicious use

Experts on the security implications of emerging technologies have written a report that sounds the alarm about the potential malicious use of artificial intelligence (AI) by rogue states, criminals, and terrorists.

  • Thursday, 22 February 2018

New Zealand resumes backhaul study

New Zealand’s Commerce Commission has resumed a study into backhaul services, which was put on hold in February 2017 while the government proceeded with its review of the Telecommunications Act.

  • Tuesday, 23 January 2018

India consults on new telecoms policy

TRAI, India’s telecoms regulator, has consulted on a new telecoms policy being formulated by the government to attract $100 billion worth of investment in a sector that's going through consolidation amid intense competition, notes Economic Times.

  • 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

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

Q&A with Dr Robert Pepper Q&A with Dr Robert Pepper

Dr Robert Pepper, Head, Global Connectivity Policy and Planning, Facebook

  • Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Telcos battle carmakers over communications approach

A fierce debate has gripped Europe’s automobile industry that will shape the future of all cars sold across the region: how to get internet-connected vehicles to “talk” to each other while travelling on the road, reports the Financial Times.

  • 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

OECDs’ digital economy report

The OECD Digital Economy Outlook 2017 reports that progress is uneven across countries, businesses and within societies. Broadening access to digital opportunities and helping those lagging behind to catch up would increase the benefits of the digital transformation...

  • 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

Momentum increases in Latin American roaming

Bolivia's telecommunications regulation authority, ATT, and the ITU have issued a statement confirming that they will work together to promote the goal of ending international roaming charges between countries in the Andean community, reports Telecompaper.

  • 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

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

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

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