The sharing economy, Internet Governance, children's digital rights, net neutrality and content regulation are examples of core governance issues explored in-depth at IIC meetings and in InterMedia articles. Governance of the telecoms media and technology sector is at the heart of what the IIC does.
Rwanda’s government is aiming to regulate social media content, a move which is intended to curb the spread of misinformation, according to the minister for ICT and innovation, Paula Ingabire, as AllAfrica reports.
Policy choices for sustained investment and innovation at the network, service and applications level. This talk took place on Wednesday 27th May 2015 as part of the IIC Telecommunications & Media Forum in Miami.
Roberto Viola (Deputy Director General, DG Connect, European Commission) is interviewed by the IIC President, Fabio Colasanti, on the occasion of the IIC's Telecommunications and Media Forum in Miami, USA, May 2014.
2018 could be a watershed year for the telecommunications industry and EU regulation. Francesco Liberatore Chair of the Brussels Chapter, and associate Matthew Buckwell of Squire Patton Boggs consider the top 10 EU regulatory developments
To get the broadband infrastructure and consumer benefit that are needed, regulators have to abandon the short-term thinking that can stifle new entrants and investment, argue RICHARD CADMAN, JONATHAN KINGAN and GITA SORENSEN
In part two of his discussion of the ‘myth of 5G’, WILLIAM WEBB examines regulatory factors, spectrum issues and whether fixed-wireless access will be more than a promise - plus scenarios for the next few years
Connected and autonomous vehicles will be leading users of the internet of things and 5G technologies. But almost all of today’s societal and regulatory issues will converge on road transport, as Julian McGougan reports.
Telecoms operators have missed the platforms boat but hope to regain ground with network virtualisation. RICHARD FEASEY discusses the technology and regulatory implications of a powerful but potentially double-edged movement.
The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is much more than a UN talking shop and has the potential to be a key political networking body, reckons WOLFGANG KLEINWÄCHTER, who reports from the 11th IGF in Guadalajara.
Should we be striving for the ‘level playing field’ with regulation of innovative, next-generation communications? Brian Williamson makes a strong case for setting them free. October 2016, Volume 44 Issue 03
As more people, especially the less well off, have only a smartphone to access the internet, there are signs that a new type of digital divide could develop. Ofcom’s Alison Preston describes new research carried out in the UK. July 2016, Volume 44 Issue 02
As the OECD prepares for a ministerial meeting on the digital economy, Jørgen Abild Andersen argues that the highest level of coordination among many government departments is needed to deliver its aims
As regulators start to fundamentally review their remits, Chris Chapman, the incoming president of the IIC and chair of Australia’s ACMA, details the extent of digital disruption and possible regulatory response, in this two-part article. January 2016, Volume 43 Issue 04
The modern sharing economy is small but growing - and enabled by the internet. John Ure discusses its possible impact and where regulation may be heading, with particular reference to Asia. March 2015, Volume 43 Issue 01
Continuing our coverage of spectrum auctions, Stefan Zehle explores further the pitfalls and implications for the public purse, drawing on key examples from the past decade. March 2015, Volume 43 Issue 01
Jonathan Jacob Nadler says the FCC’s new Open Internet Remand Order makes five fundamental changes, faces five legal challenges – and will have five unintended consequences. June 2015, Volume 43 Issue 02
Universal access and service programmes are vital to extending broadband to all parts of a country. Antonio GarcIa Zaballos discusses the findings of a comparative report. June 2015, Volume 43 Issue 02
Countries are concentrating regulatory and competition law functions in a smaller number of agencies, including combining telecoms with other utility sectors. PETER ALEXIADIS examines the approaches in the first of a two part analysis.
More than 10 years ago, as the move to digital took off, there was much debate about using a layered regulatory model to mirror the new world. Now, write IVOR KING and DEREK WILDING, it’s making a comeback in Australia. But does it have merit?
Online platforms are placing great pressure on safeguards to democracy, and legal remedies are on the stocks. As KRISZTINA ROZGONYI discusses, there is a pressing need for a new generation of media regulators to implement rules and build trust
Data privacy is rightly among the biggest concerns in the digital age but, as DANIEL SEPULVEDA argues from the industry perspective, a regulatory balance is needed between protection and the success of a data-driven economy.
Nations tend to keep a closer hold of telecoms industry regulation than in other sectors, even in Europe. It’s why the UK’s imminent exit from the European Union won’t impact its telecoms sector too much, as IAN WALDEN explains.
Policymakers have reached a stage in broadband development where they should be thinking of deploying bandwidth in abundance as part of next-generation national broadband plans. BLAIR LEVIN discusses the policy drivers.
April 2019, Volume 47 Issue 1
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... Read
On 5 June 2019, the Court of Justice of the EU ("CJEU") published its ruling on the classification of SkypeOut in the EU following a request for a preliminary ruling from the Belgian Courts. Skype is a Voice over IP service ("VoIP") whereas the SkypeOut component is an interconnected VoIP service that allows the service to dial out to landline and mobile numbers.
Despite a lengthy process that started way back in the spring of 2018, US mobile operators Sprint and T-Mobile have agreed to extend the deadline for their proposed merger another 2 months until 29 June, reports Gizmodo.
A report submitted to the French Secretary of State for Digital Affairs, and titled “Creating a French framework to make social media platforms more accountable: Acting in France with a European vision”, recommends that French authorities should have more access to Facebook’s algorithms to audit its policies on hate speech.
Rwanda’s government is aiming to regulate social media content, a move which is intended to curb the spread of misinformation, according to the minister for ICT and innovation, Paula Ingabire, as AllAfrica reports.
The ITU has approved a recommendation addressing the relationship between network operators and providers of over the top (OTT) applications. It says recommendation ITU-T D.262 “provides parameters for the analysis of the new economic dynamics of the ICT ecosystem and how policy and regulatory frameworks could promote competition, consumer protection, consumer benefits, dynamic innovation, sustainable investment and infrastructure development, accessibility and affordability in relation to the global growth of OTTs”.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) wants the government to identify spectrum being held by various departments and agencies for effective commercial application of the scarce natural resource, notes the Economic Times.
Sharon White, chief executive of Ofcom, the UK regulator, has said that the small number of equipment suppliers has created systemic risks to the country’s networks that may need to be addressed with regulation. She made the remarks amid tensions with the US over whether Britain will permit equipment from Chinese vendor Huawei to be used for next-generation 5G telecom services, reports Bloomberg.
Dutch regulator, ACM, plans to work on two themes concerning 5G, reports Telecompaper: the application of net neutrality and infrastructure sharing. “A spokesperson for the ACM said the application of net neutrality raises important questions for 5G and infrastructure sharing will become relevant again once operators start rolling out 5G networks.
Arcep, France’s regulator, has published a draft decision for public consultation on implementing an application programming interface (API), to be installed directly in operators’ boxes, for measuring the quality of fixed internet services.
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has decided to oppose the proposed merger between TPG Telecom and Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA). The ACCC has concluded that it is likely to substantially lessen competition in the supply of mobile services because the merger would preclude TPG entering as the fourth mobile network operator in Australia.
BBC director-general Tony Hall has called for streamers and broadcasters to face the same regulation and highlighted what he says is the greater reach of the “pubcaster” compared with online rivals like Netflix, C21Media reports.
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) intends to move ahead with a plan to auction off wireless radio frequencies that scientists say could harm critical satellite data used in weather forecasting, a report in the Washington Post notes.
Tech giants have become increasingly dominant and ministers must open the market up to increase consumer choice and give people greater control over their data, an independent review for the UK government has advised.
The UK’s House of Lords has called for the creation of a digital super-regulator to oversee the different bodies charged with safeguarding the internet and replace the “clearly failing” system of self-regulation by big technology companies, reports the Guardian.
The UK government has issued a statement of strategic priorities (SSP) to provide the regulator, Ofcom, with context and guidance about the government’s policy priorities and desired outcomes in relation to telecoms, the management of radio spectrum and postal services.
Nearly 3 years after the EU net neutrality regulations came into effect, neither service providers nor national regulators have been role models in following the rules, a report has concluded, notes Telecoms.com.
The Philippines House of Representatives has unanimously approved House Bill 3437, which seeks to provide for an “online network establishment” (ONE) policy for the country. Principally authored by deputy speaker Rose Marie “Baby” Arenas, HB 3437 or the “ONE Philippines Act” hopes to minimise the so-called digital divide and speed up wireless communications technology in the country.
A survey commissioned by the NSPCC, a UK child protection charity, reveals that 9 out of 10 parents support the regulation of social networks to make them legally responsible for protecting children, and 6 out of 10 adults do not think social networks protect children from sexual grooming and inappropriate content like self-harm and suicide.
The final report in the UK of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee’s 18-month investigation into disinformation and fake news has accused Facebook of purposefully obstructing its inquiry and failing to tackle attempts by Russia to manipulate elections, reports the Guardian.
A review by Dame Frances Cairncross into the sustainability of high-quality journalism in the UK has been published, making proposals “designed to encourage new models to emerge, with the help of innovation not just in technology but in business systems and journalistic techniques”.
The EU Electronic Communications Code (EECC) is a new directive consolidating and reforming the framework for the regulation of electronic communications services and networks across the EEA. Member states must adapt their existing telecommunications regulations in accordance with the EECC by 2020.
The advocate general of the European Court of Justice has given his opinion on the “right to be forgotten” conflict between France and Google, and the opinion is relatively simple: France does not have the right to impose its own considerations on a company which operates outside its jurisdiction, notes Telecoms.com.
Most online video streaming platforms in India have agreed to a code of self-regulation that may receive endorsement from the country’s Information and Broadcasting Ministry, reports the Economic Times.
Deutsche Telekom has become the latest operator to file a lawsuit against the conditions for participating in Germany’s 5G mobile spectrum auction, which is scheduled to take place in the spring, notes TeleGeography.
As of Dec. 21, 2020, the obligations of the current ePrivacy Directive will apply to instant messaging applications, email, internet phone calls and personal messaging provided through social media — collectively, over-the-top services — in addition to traditional telecom providers.
ANCOM, Romania’s regulator, has launched for public consultation an “action plan” for 2019, with Sorin Grindeanu, ANCOM’s president, saying: “New challenges lie ahead of ANCOM in 2019, with the organisation of the 5G auction as a main project.
According to website, International Law Office, the Chinese government’s growing concerns about certain aspects of blockchain have triggered a number of recent regulatory responses. For example, in June 2018 the government learned of a vaccine scandal in which improper wording was allegedly uploaded to Ethereum (a type of blockchain).
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has published preliminary recommendations in its digital platforms inquiry, which is covering Google, Facebook and the Australian news and advertising industries. The report contains 11 preliminary recommendations and eight areas for further analysis as the inquiry continues.
BEREC, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications, has released a number of documents and consultations, including its “highly anticipated” opinion on the EU net neutrality regulation and guidelines.
The European Commission (EC) has published a plan prepared with member states to foster the development and use of artificial intelligence (AI) in Europe. It focuses on four areas: increasing investment, making more data available, fostering talent and ensuring trust.
The European Council has given final sign-off on the EU’s Electronic Communications Code, which imposes price caps, tougher security procedures and spectrum allocation rules that will enhance 5G deployment, notes mobile World Live.
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.
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...
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
According to a 12-month report into the ACMA’s actions under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, thirty-three prominent offshore wagering sites have withdrawn from Australian markets over a 12 month period.
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...
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.
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.
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.
Online platforms and the advertising industry have sent individual roadmaps to European commissioner for digital economy and society, Mariya Gabriel, which will put in practice a self-regulatory code of practice to fight online disinformation, which was published on 26 September 2018.
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.
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”
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
European data regulators have torn up the latest proposal by internet overseer ICANN over its Whois data service, sending the organisation back to the drawing board for a third time, notes the Register.
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.
A human rights campaigner has urged the Malaysian government to form a taskforce of officials and concerned citizens for discussions on changes to the Communications and Multimedia Act, reports Free Malaysia Today.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
Vodafone could launch a legal challenge against Germany’s national telecoms regulator Bundesnetzagentur (BNetzA), which wants the operator to extend a zero-rated offer in the country to the whole of the EU in line with roaming regulations, reports Mobile World Live.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kosovo’s telecoms watchdog, the Regulatory Authority for Post and Electronic Communications (ARKEP), has approved new regulations that look to shore up consumers’ rights and update existing rules to ensure net neutrality, notes TeleGeography.
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.
The European Competitive Telecommunications Association (ECTA) has sent an open letter to the EU to share its concern that the EU’s vision for a connected digital single market “risks being stopped dead in its tracks before it can effectively take off”.
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.
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.
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...
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.