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12th May 2020

Webinar: Regulation in Times of Pandemic and Lessons for the Future: A European view

Virtual Event

12 May 2020
1500 hrs BST | 1600 hrs CET
Duration: 1 hour


Held in partnership with the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC)


The COVID-19 pandemic has forced all industry players to take action to support the strategies of national governments aimed at reducing the risks and negative impact on the economy. The essential role of ICT and digital sectors is undisputed, enabling and supporting emergency communications, connectivity sustainability and the deployment of infrastructure in urban and rural areas. Regulators have taken a number of steps so that the continuity of services can be guaranteed. How might these actions inform and facilitate future modernisation of current regulatory frameworks?

European regulators and policy makers discussed their decisions and initiatives taken in response to the pandemic against a backdrop of consumer protection and universal access to essential information and services. Spectrum management, net neutrality regimes, novel health management apps and privacy protection, and combatting disinformation were among the list of important themes for discussion.


Full recording of online seminar held on 12 May 2020



Full report from the webinar held on 12 May 2020


Keynote Speaker

Roberto Viola (Dr) Director-General, DG Connect, European Commission

Roberto Viola is Director General of DG CONNECT (Directorate General of Communication, Networks, Content and Technology) at the European Commission.

Mr Viola was the Deputy Director-General of DG CONNECT, European Commission from 2012 to 2015.He served as Chairman of the European Radio Spectrum Policy group (RSPG) from 2012 to 2013, as Deputy Chairman in 2011 and Chairman in 2010. He was a member of the BEREC Board (Body of European Telecom Regulators), and Chairman of the European Regulatory Group (ERG) in 2007.

Mr Viola held the position of Secretary General in charge of managing AGCOM, from 2005 to 2012. Prior to this, he served as Director of Regulation Department and Technical Director in AGCOM from 1999 to 2004.

From 1985-1999 he served in various positions including as Head of Telecommunication and Broadcasting Satellite Services at the European Space Agency (ESA).

Mr Viola holds a Doctorate in Electronic Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA).


Antonio De Tommaso (Dr) Director of EU and International Affairs, Authorità per le Garanzie nelle comunicazioni (AGCOM), Italy

Dr Antonio De Tommaso is Director of EU and International Affairs at AGCOM, the National Regulatory Authority for electronic communication, media and postal services in Italy.

Dr Tommaso has long-standing international experience, as a member of many institutional bodies and projects in the field of electronic communications, media and ICT. In BEREC (formerly ERG), he chaired several working groups and is now the co-chair of the Regulatory Framework Working Group. He is the alternate member of the BEREC Board of Regulators and Management Board and member of the BEREC Contact Network.

Dr Tommaso joined AGCOM in 1999, where he served in several positions. Prior to that, from 1992 he had worked in in the private sector, as an expert in telecommunications regulation and strategies.

Dr Tommaso holds a Doctorate in law.

Dan Sjöblom Director General, Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS); Chairperson, Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC)

Dan Sjöblom is the Director General of the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) and was appointed by the Swedish Government on 1 February 2017.

He serves as Chairperson of BEREC (Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communication) in 2020, having served as a vice-chair in 2019.

Prior to taking up his position, Mr Sjöblom was the Director General for the Swedish Competition Authority for eight years, between 2009 and 2017.

He is also board member of the Swedish Broadband Council.

Mr Sjöblom has served as a civil servant at the European Commission between 1996 and 2009. He holds a Master of Laws from Stockholm University.

Lindsey Fussell Group Director for Networks and Communications, Ofcom, UK

Lindsey Fussell is Group Director for Networks and Communications. She leads Ofcom’s work in the telecoms, post and network sectors, where we aim to protect consumers’ interests and promote competition.

Before joining Ofcom in April 2016, Ms Fussell held a range of senior leadership roles at public bodies. She was Public Services Director at HM Treasury, where she led on devolution, education and culture, defence and criminal justice. Ms Fussell supported the Varney review for public service transformation, and led major aspects of the 2015 Spending Review.

Ms Fussell holds a degree in Modern History from Oxford University, and is a member of York University’s governing Council.

Wilhelm Eschweiler (Dr) Vice President, Federal Network Agency (BNetzA), Germany

Dr Wilhelm Eschweiler, one of the two Vice Presidents of the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur), is responsible for telecommunications and rail.

He was Chair of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) in 2016.

Prior to his current position, he worked in several senior positions in the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy. He was Head of Unit for the European ICT Policy from 2007 until April 2014 and Head of Unit for International Telecoms and Postal Services Policy from 2002 until 2006. Prior to that, he worked as an advisor for regulatory policy from 1998 until 2002.

After graduating from the University of Bonn with a degree in Law (Second State Examination) he started his career at the Federal Ministry of Post and Telecommunications from 1992 until 1994 including a mandatory secondment to the Directorate-General Information Society and Media of the European Commission in Brussels. From 1995 until 1997 he worked in the Office of the Minister Dr. Wolfgang Bötsch.

Dr. Eschweiler holds a degree in Law from the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms University in Bonn and spent two terms at the University of Lausanne.


Jeremy Godfrey Commissioner, Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg), Ireland; Vice-Chair, BEREC

Jeremy Godfrey joined the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) as Commissioner in 2013 and was Chairperson of the Commission from February 2015 to February 2017. He was Chair of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) for 2019, and is currently Vice-Chair.

Mr Godfrey has almost thirty years’ experience in the ICT sector, as an industry executive, business consultant and Government official.

Prior to joining ComReg, he was Government Chief Information Officer in Hong Kong. In this role, he had responsibility both for Government IT and for IT-policy issues such as digital inclusion, internet governance and the promotion of inward investment in the IT sector.

Mr Godfrey began his career in the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry, serving as private secretary to the Cabinet Minister as well as in a variety of other roles. He then spent ten years in the Cable & Wireless Group, in Hong Kong and in the UK, mainly in strategy, marketing and regulatory roles – including Director of Strategy and Director of Marketing for Hong Kong Telecom.

Between 1998 and 2008, Mr Godfrey worked for PA Consulting Group where he was a partner in the Hong Kong office, serving clients in the communications, transportation, financial services and government sectors. Projects that he led included major change initiatives, business start-up projects, and due diligence assignments. He worked in around a dozen markets in Asia and the Pacific.

Mr Godfrey has a Master of Arts from Cambridge University, where he studied mathematics.

Event details
12th May 2020
Online meeting
Governance, Infrastructure and Spectrum, Innovation and Content, Privacy, Safety, Security

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