Ofcom’s review of regulatory trends
UK regulator, Ofcom, has issued its “International communications market report 2017”, which includes a section on regulatory context. Developments noted include:
- The consideration of the European Electronic Communications Code, which has the “overriding policy focus” of deploying high speed networks.
- Mobile roaming without surcharges in the EU, but with “fair use” policies.
- Traffic management and net neutrality – Ofcom says there is broad global support for the principle that ISPs should not become gatekeepers to online content, applications and services but significant disagreement about what this means for ISPs, with “strongly held and divided views about practices such as zero-rating”.
- Next-generation access (NGA) – apart from the incentives that will be in the Code, European regulators are implementing NGA that differs in type and speed despite common goals. Meanwhile Australia, Brazil, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa have created state-owned operators. Geographic variations based on competition are in play in France, Spain and Portugal. “The range and mix of policy approaches reflects the trade-off that governments and regulatory agencies are having to contend with,” says Ofcom. Policy is also increasingly focusing on the demand side, it adds.
- Content regulation – the AVMSD in Europe is a flagship and expanding scope to video on demand a significant development.
- Media – noted are the completion of the work of the Council of Europe’s Committee of experts on Media Pluralism and Transparency of Media Ownership; new media ownership laws in Australia; and plans to lift restrictions in the US.
- Spectrum is also covered.
- Tuesday, 23 January 2018