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10 Predictions for the Future of Telecommunications Regulation in 2018

01.10.2018
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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 in an article for Law360.

With more vigorous enforcement action, a number of significant policy reviews and broader political movements such as Brexit, there are plenty of developments that will impact the industry in the year ahead. Some of these changes are so significant that they are likely to change the digital landscape across the world.

The EU’s Electronic Communications Code
With Bulgaria taking over the six-month rotating presidency this month, the EU’s Electronic Communications Code is sure to be an important priority for the Commission in order for it to advance to trilogue.

GDPR and E-Privacy
The GDPR and proposed E-Privacy Regulation are, of course, likely to continue to make waves in the year ahead for the telecommunications industry.

Net Neutrality and governance of the ‘Splinternet’
The enforcement of Net Neutrality, particularly given the US rollback, will also be an issue that the industry will be watching carefully. With the rise of data sovereignty and data embassy legislation in jurisdictions across the globe, the “splinternet” is likely to become an ever greater concern for the industry.

Competition, Big Data, 5G and Infrastructure Investment
Other major developments include the Significant Market Power Guidelines review; regulatory scrutiny on Big Data in Member States as well as EU-wide; 5G rollout preparation following the Estonian Presidency; coordination of infrastructure build-out as well as fiber deployment; and ongoing – if not increased – scrutiny over mergers and acquisitions given both competition and populist considerations.

Brexit
Last but not least, the complications from Brexit will magnify as trade negotiations with the bloc over commences. Without the UK’s voice around the table, it remains to be seen how and where the UK might diverge from EU regulations in relation to telecommunications.

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2018 could be a watershed year for the telecommunications industry and EU regulation

Theme:
Innovation and Content, Investment, Governance
Region:
Europe
Chapter:
Europe
Francesco Liberatore Francesco Liberatore Partner, Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP; Chair, IIC Brussels Chapter
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