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News from 2018

APAC Bytes Oct 2018 APAC Bytes Oct 2018

Industry and regulatory news from the Asia Pacfic region compiled by TRPC.

  • Wednesday, 17 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

Call to unblock data flows in Asia

Governments in Asia can expand the region’s digital economy and unlock further socio-economic benefits for their citizens by removing unnecessary restrictions on the movement of data internationally, according to a report by the GSMA.

  • 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

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

A single broadband provider can be competitive – US ruling

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

  • Tuesday, 25 September 2018

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

Apple takeover of Shazam approved by the European Commission

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Shazam by Apple. The commission concluded that the merger would not adversely affect competition in the European Economic Area or any substantial part of it.

  • 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

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

APAC Bytes Sep 2018 APAC Bytes Sep 2018

Industry and regulatory news from the Asia Pacfic region compiled by TRPC.

  • Wednesday, 12 September 2018

India’s regulator advocates tougher data protection India’s regulator advocates tougher data protection

TRAI, India’s telecoms regulator, has said the existing framework for protection of personal data by companies and service providers is insufficient and has recommended stricter rules to tackle data breaches, notes Reuters.

  • Monday, 23 July 2018

Objections made to claims about interference with satellite in the US Objections made to claims about interference with satellite in the US

It’s been four years since US regulator, the FCC, voted to make 100 MHz of spectrum in the 5 GHz band available for unlicensed use, but one incumbent user says it has recently measured a “dramatic rise” in the 5.1 GHz noise level, reports Cablefax.

  • Monday, 23 July 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

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

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

  • Monday, 23 July 2018

Caribbean community to fast-track ‘single ICT space’ Caribbean community to fast-track ‘single ICT space’

Former chairman of the Caribbean Community (Caricom), Keith Mitchell, says Caricom is soon to launch a multistakeholder partnership to fast-track specific elements of the “single ICT space”, notes the Jamaica Observer.

  • 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

Q&A with Stuart Cunningham Q&A with Stuart Cunningham

Stuart Cunningham, Professor of Media and Communications, Queensland University of Technology

  • Monday, 16 July 2018

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

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

  • Monday, 16 July 2018

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

Egypt’s law on ‘false information’ raises concerns Egypt’s law on ‘false information’ raises concerns

Activists and journalists are concerned that a law passed by Egypt's parliament allows President Abdel Fatah el-Sissi's government to punish press outlets and social media users for publishing “false information”, notes Deutsche Welle.

  • Monday, 25 June 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

Spectrum sharing news from the US and Hong Kong Spectrum sharing news from the US and Hong Kong

A US telecoms official has tipped spectrum sharing to play a key role in the government’s plan to alleviate a shortage of available commercial airwaves in the country, notes Mobile World Live.

  • 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

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

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

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

APAC Bytes June 2018 APAC Bytes June 2018

Industry and regulatory news from the Asia Pacfic region compiled by TRPC.

  • Thursday, 21 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

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

TRCP Highlights May 2018 TRCP Highlights May 2018

Industry and regulatory highlights from the Asia Pacfic region compiled by TRPC.

  • 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

Ecuador: a cautionary tale for media regulators

An article by Anya Schiffrin in Policy Syndicate considers that for more than a decade, Ecuadorian journalists have increasingly felt the effects of repressive media and speech laws that were supposedly enacted in the "public interest”.

  • 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

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

States gang up on FCC on net neutrality

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

  • Thursday, 26 April 2018

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

New Zealand published issue paper on mobile market

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

  • Tuesday, 25 September 2018

South Africa plans spectrum liberalisation

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

  • Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Test case on the right to be forgotten

The “right to be forgotten” online is in danger of being transformed into a tool of global censorship through a test case at the European court of justice (ECJ), free speech organisations are warning.

  • Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Global mobile trends from the GSMA Global mobile trends from the GSMA

GSMA Intelligence has published its third annual Global Mobile Trends report. Key takeaways include that the next generation of internet users will be mobile only. By 2025, 3.7 billion people – 72% of the global internet base – will be accessing the internet exclusively via mobile.

  • 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

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

Q&A with Madeleine de Cock Buning Q&A with Madeleine de Cock Buning

Professor Madeleine de Cock Buning Chairs the High Level Expert Group advising the EU Commission on Fake News and online disinformation and is Chair of The Regulatory Authority to the Media in the Netherlands.

  • Tuesday, 18 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

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

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

  • Monday, 23 July 2018

Europe and China taking over from the US internet rules Europe and China taking over from the US internet rules

The US is losing ground as the internet’s standard-bearer in the face of aggressive European privacy standards and China’s draconian vision for a tightly controlled web, reports Politico. “The weakening of the American position comes after years of US lawmakers and presidents, including both Donald Trump and Barack Obama, backing the tech industry’s aversion to new regulations.

  • Monday, 23 July 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

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

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

APAC Bytes July 2018 APAC Bytes July 2018

Industry and regulatory news from the Asia Pacfic region compiled by TRPC.

  • Wednesday, 18 July 2018

ACMA Chair addresses Sydney TMF ACMA Chair addresses Sydney TMF

Australian Communications & Media Authority (ACMA) Chair, Nerida O’Loughlin gave a wide-ranging speech at the Telecommunications and Media Forum in Sydney covering some of the major shifts the ACMA expects in the Australian communications landscape over the next four years.

  • Monday, 16 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

Cambodian government takes on ‘fake news’ Cambodian government takes on ‘fake news’

The Cambodian government will monitor all news and social networking sites with immediate effect, “to prevent the spread of information that can cause social chaos and threaten national security”, reports the Phnom Penh Post.

  • 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

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

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

US Supreme Court rules in favour of warrant for cell site location data US Supreme Court rules in favour of warrant for cell site location data

In a 5-4 ruling, the US Supreme Court has decided that the government generally needs a warrant in order to access cell site location information, which is automatically generated whenever a mobile phone connects to a cell tower and is stored by wireless carriers for years, reports Wired.

  • 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

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

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

  • Monday, 21 May 2018

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

FCC aims to reform educational band spectrum

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

  • Monday, 21 May 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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