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Regulatory Watch

The IIC’s eye on the news.

eyeThis bulletin is regularly updated with thumbnails of regulatory news. Follow the links for a round-up of latest policy stories.

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”

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.

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”.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

APAC Bytes Sep 2018

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

Regulation on Free Flow of Non-Personal Data Update

The proposal for a Regulation on Free Flow of Data was agreed in trilogue negotiations on 19 June 2018, only after a few weeks of negotiations.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

ICAAN’s latest proposal for the Whois service rejected by Europe

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.

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.

Malaysian minister receptive to reform of comms act and content

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 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.

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).

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.

Germany’s Monopolies Commission makes proposals on algorithms and media

Germany’s Monopolies Commission in its latest biennial report says that digital change requires legal adjustments regarding price algorithms and the media sector.

Germany’s Monopolies Commission makes proposals on algorithms and media (Copy)

Germany’s Monopolies Commission in its latest biennial report says that digital change requires legal adjustments regarding price algorithms and the media sector.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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”.

APAC Bytes July 2018

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

Q&A with Stuart Cunningham

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

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.

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.

Revised draft online gambling ad rules released for comment

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has released a revised draft of proposed restrictions on gambling advertisements during live sport.

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.

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.

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.

US Federal Trade Commission in the net neutrality spotlight

AT&T has given up its years-long quest to hinder the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) authority to regulate broadband providers, reports Ars Technica.

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.

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.

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.

Vodafone considers legal route against Germany’s regulator over zero rating

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

India untethers internet telephony but termination charges still apply

India’s Department of Telecom has issued a notification on Tuesday saying that internet telephony services are “untethered from the underlying access network”.

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.

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.

France’s Arcep recommends not renewing its regulation of digital TV

Arcep, France’s regulator, has issued its “scoreboard and outlook” document for public consultation, which traditionally marks the start of a new round of market analysis,...

US seeks to modernise children’s broadcasting rules

The US FCC is proposing to modernise children’s TV rules in a move that is needed now more than ever, according to an article in the Washington Examiner.

Isle of Man legislates on comms bill, appoints new CEO of regulator

The Isle of Man – the territory that lies between the UK and Ireland – is taking a new communications bill through its legislative process.

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.

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.

European parliament vote on copyright alarms internet activists

A European parliament committee has voted for legislation that internet pioneers fear will turn the web into “a tool for surveillance and control”, reports the Guardian.

Facebook comes under fire for flagging journalism as ‘political’

An ”archive of ads with political content”, which Facebook made public in May, has become the latest contested piece of territory between platforms and publishers, writes Emily Bell in the Guardian.

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.

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.

APAC Bytes June 2018

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

ACCA Public Policy Dialogue in Bangkok, Thailand (7-8 June 2018)

A number of Thailand's public sector agencies hosted closed-door industry discussions with technology companies, during a public policy delegation organised by the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA) in June 2018.

Q&A with Dr Stephen Collins

Director, Public Policy EMEA, Snap Inc

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.

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.”

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.

South Africa’s regulator responds to call for data price cuts

South Africa’s regulator, ICASA, has published end user and subscriber service charter regulations as the start of a three-pronged process to address concerns about the cost of data services.

GSMA finds mobile development lagging in Central America

Deployment of 4G is lagging in Central America and the region needs to up its game or risk putting its future economic development at risk, the GSMA has stated in a report.

Kosovo’s regulator approves consumer and net neutrality regulations

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 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.

ECTA joins in with warnings about European Electronic Communications Code

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”.

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.

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.”

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.

Australia considers extending interception law to OTT

The Australian attorney-general’s department (AGD) has argued in favour of extending Australia's telecoms interception laws from telcos to over the top providers, reports ZDNet.

Regulators not ready for GDPR, according to survey

Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been billed as the biggest shake-up of data privacy laws since the birth of the web, notes Reuters.

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.

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.

TRCP Highlights May 2018

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

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.

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.

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...

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”.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

Commission goes after Apple’s proposed music buy-up

The European Commission has launched an investigation to assess Apple’s proposed acquisition of music app Shazam, expressing concerns the deal could reduce choice for users of music streaming services, reports Mobile World Live.

UK’s lays out universal service law

The design of the UK's new universal service obligation (USO) for broadband has been specified in law, reports The UK government said the new USO would “ensure high speed broadband access for the whole of the UK by 2020”.

Taiwan’s regulator warns on impact of price war

The telecoms regulator in Taiwan has warned that sparking a price war could impair how much operators are willing to invest in new services and networks, including 5G, reports Telecoms Tech.

UAE releases media activity regulations

The National Media Council (NMC), the federal authority tasked with supervising all media activities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has recently issued electronic media activity regulations, notes law firm Clyde&Co.

5G forecast show Europe ‘further adrift’

CCS Insight, a market researcher, has raised its near-term forecast for global 5G connections following “impressive progress” made by the industry over the past six months.

GSMA weighs in on Colombia’s regulatory regime

The GSMA has put forward a series of regulatory and public policy proposals to boost Colombia’s digital economy ahead of next month’s presidential elections, reports Telecompaper.

Togo aims to build internet access

The government of Togo, in an effort to ensure the provision of universal electronic communications services in the country, has adopted a draft decree that defines the rules applying to such services, notes TeleGeography.

Myanmar starts universal service fund

Myanmar will collect tax on telecoms operators to extend the telecoms network to remote areas of the country, reports the Myanmar Times.

FCC sets out 5G spectrum auction plans

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking comment on proposed application and bidding procedures for the auctions of the 28 GHz and 24 GHz spectrum bands to promote the development of 5G technology, the internet of things, and other advanced spectrum-based services.

EU antitrust chief turns to academics to help tackle tech challenges

Europe’s antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager, is looking to three academics to help her deal with anti-competitive practices in fast-moving technology markets, reports Reuters.

The impact of the GDPR

On 25 May the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force for the 28 member states, but the impact is already far wider as the regulation affects any organisation that keeps data on an EU citizen, which includes all the global internet giants.

South Africa consults on ICT ownership

South Africa’s regulator, ICASA is to hold public hearings to discuss “the review and development of the authority position on historically disadvantaged persons and broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE)”, notes ITWeb.

Operators say European reform will not deliver on ambition and investment

Heads of European telecoms operators appear to have lost patience with the EU’s strategy despite having been “vocal supporters of the ambitions outlined in the digital single market (DSM) strategy”.

The ACCA’s Cloud Readiness Index (CRI) 2018 Launched

The Cloud Readiness Index (CRI) 2018 is the fifth iteration of the Asia Cloud Computing Association’s (ACCA) flagship report.

The ACCA’s report launch 30 April 2018

Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA)’s report launch, Asia’s Financial Services on the Cloud 2018: Regulatory Landscape Impacting the Use of Cloud by Financial Services Institutions in Asia
30th April 2018.

APAC Bytes April 2018

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

Inquiry into internet competition wraps up

The Innovation, Industry, Science and Resources Committee has completed its report for the Inquiry into impacts on local businesses in Australia from global internet-based competition.

Bureau of Communications and Arts Research releases findings on impact of 5G mobile services

The Bureau of Communications and Arts Research has released a working paper assessment that details the potential impacts of 5G on Australia’s productivity and growth.

Gambling ad crackdown extends to online streaming services

After partially banning gambling advertisements during the broadcast of live sports on free-to-air and commercial television last month, the ACMA has proposed mirrored restrictions for online streaming services.

ACMA Chair addresses CommsDay 2018 Summit

O’Loughlin addressed current and future challenges and opportunities in the industry, how the ACMA is progressing with implementing reforms agreed by the government,...

Q&A Ieva Martinkenaite

This month Policy World interviews Ieva Martinkenaite, PhD, Vice President, Telenor Research, Head of Telenor-NTNU AI-Lab / Start IoT

Australia announces ASEAN initiative to promote digital trade

The Australian Government has announced a joint initiative with the ten countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to promote digital trade and support inclusive economic growth in our region.

New NBN migration complaints-handling rules

ACMA has released draft  complaints-handling rules designed to improve the experience of consumers moving to the National Broadband Network.

Gambling ad crackdown during primetime sport

Gambling advertisements will be banned during the broadcast of live sports between 5am and 8:30pm on commercial free-to-air TV, radio and pay TV, ACMA has announced.

Australia seeks to modernise copyright laws

The Australian Government has announced a review of the Australian Copyright Act 1968 following on from the Productivity Commission’s review and report on Australia’s Intellectual Property Arrangements.

Canada readies emergency alert system on smartphones

A system to alert Canadians to natural disasters and other public safety emergencies via their smartphones is another step closer to reality, reports the Financial Post.

Falkland Islands steps up communications regulation

The Falkland Islands, one of the more remote territories, now has a communications regulator in place in Susannah Nightingale, who has published the first regulator's annual report.

UK regulator consults on 700 MHz and coverage obligations

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced a consultation on its plans to introduce coverage obligations as part of the upcoming sale of spectrum in the 700 MHz band, notes TeleGeography.

Metadata processing under scrutiny in Europe

An item in the law blog,, notes that EU law makers are scrutinising the issue of metadata processing in the context of new EU laws on privacy and electronic communications (the e-privacy regulation). The Bulgarian presidency of the Council of Ministers has published a document that has highlighted that there are different views across national governments in the EU on the rules that should apply to metadata processing.

Finland’s regulator imposes price caps to boost broadband competition

High wholesale prices impede competition in the broadband market, so the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (FICORA) is imposing price caps on fibre local loops provided by the three market leaders in Finland, and regulation on copper local loops will be scaled down.

European Union reaches agreement on spectrum policy, amid industry concern

The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission have reached a provisional political agreement on spectrum policy envisioned in the European Electronic Communications Code, including the availability of radio spectrum for 5G by 2020 in the EU, 20 years investment predictability for spectrum licences, and enhanced coordination and peer review of planned radio spectrum assignment procedures.

International tax system changes could target tech giants

The OECD says more than 110 countries and jurisdictions have agreed to review two key concepts of the international tax system, responding to a mandate from the G20 finance ministers to work on the implications of digitisation for taxation.

Indian regulator aims for public Wi-Fi rollout using payments model

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is aiming to develop a framework similar to the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to aid the rollout of public Wi-Fi hotspots in the country, notes Live Mint.

European Commission publishes report on fake news and disinformation

The European Commission’s high-level expert group on fake news and disinformation spread online has produced a report that suggests a definition of the phenomenon and makes a series of recommendations.

Australia kicks off inquiry into wholesale data services

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has started a public inquiry to determine whether declaration of the domestic transmission capacity service (DTCS) remains appropriate in light of changes to the market, including the growth of commercial alternatives available to service providers, new National Broadband Network (NBN) products for business customers, and industry consolidation.

Dutch agency notes vulnerability of digitisation of the power supply

The digitisation of the power supply will make it vulnerable due to the increasing risk of error in the software, and not only as a result of cyberattacks, reports Telecom Paper, noting a report by the Dutch Council for the Environment and Infrastructure (Rli).

European regulators body sets out priorities, including 5G and net neutrality

The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) has highlighted its focus areas for 2018 – with emphasis on a study on 5G, the latest data on international roaming, and a consultation paper on net neutrality.

Susan Crawford says the US must do more in communications infrastructure

Susan Crawford, the Harvard law professor and proponent of public telecoms investment, has used her latest column in Wired to attack privatisation of public assets.

Portuguese regulator gets tough on net neutrality

Anacom, the Portuguese telecoms regulator, has accused the country’s main operators of violating European Union rules on net neutrality, reports Reuters.

Dutch competition authority takes note of telecoms regulation

Approval by the ACM (Dutch competition authority) of KPN’s acquisition of fibre operator Reggefiber was upheld by the Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal in February 2018 – and as a commentary in JD Supra says, in assessing the merger’s competitive effects, “the tribunal notably considered regulatory measures adopted pursuant to sector-specific telecoms regulation”.

US court rolls back robocall rules

A US federal appeals court has rolled back rules intended to deter irritating telemarketing robocalls, saying they were too broad, notes the Washington Post.

India relaxes spectrum rules in favour of investment

India has approved relief measures for the telecoms sector, revising limits on spectrum holdings and allowing operators longer to pay for airwaves won at auction, with a view to freeing up funds for investment, improving ease of doing business and allowing for consolidation in the sector, reports TeleGeography.

Ofcom chief on public sector broadcasting challenges

Sharon White, head of the UK’s converged regulator, Ofcom, has set out the challenges to public service broadcasters (PSBs) in a speech.

Thailand talks digital transformation, space and satellite

IIC Thailand Chapter is committed to facilitate discussions on digital ecosystem and digital transformation to the country and Southeast Asian region.

Falsehoods travel faster and more broadly than truth

The Guardian reports a paper, published in the journal Science, in which MIT researchers describe an analysis of a vast amount of Twitter data: more than 125,000 stories, tweeted more than 4.5 million times in total, all categorised as being true or false by at least one of six independent fact-checking organisations.

Q&A Magnus Ewerbring

We asked Magnus Ewerbring, CTO of Ericsson in APAC, for his views on the future of 5G, its relevance for consumers and how networks will be ‘sliced’ to support different applications in the future.

Italy’s competition authority reins in influencer marketing

The Italian competition authority (AGCM) has carried out a first enforcement initiative on influencer marketing, “one of the most innovative and powerful advertising tools”. The initiative aims to prevent the circulation through social networks of messages whose commercial intent is not clear.

somalia goes ahead with first telecoms regulator

As expected, Somalia’s government has decided to set up the country’s first regulatory body for the telecoms sector, the National Communications Authority, notes Mobile World Live.

India fines Google for ‘search bias’

India’s antitrust watchdog imposed a 1.36 billion rupees ($21.17 million) fine on Google for “search bias” and abuse of its dominant position, in the latest regulatory setback for the world’s most popular internet search engine, reports Reuters.

Turkey aims to extend media powers to content providers

Turkey will expand the powers of its radio and television watchdog to include overseeing online content providers, under a draft law submitted to parliament on which the main opposition party said amounted to digital censorship, reports Reuters.

France proposes law on operators and cybersecurity

The French government has proposed legislation on cybersecurity that requires telecoms operators and online service providers to play a more active role in protecting the country's communications, reports Telecompaper.

Dutch agency investigates wireless using light

The Dutch radiocommunications agency, Agentschap Telecom, has published research on the use of “Li-Fi” – light fidelity – which uses light for wireless communication.

European Commission issues revised SMP guideline draft

The European Commission has published the drafts of revised SMP (significant market power) guidelines and an accompanying explanatory note. Both documents were sent to the Body of Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) for its opinion, with a view to adopting the guidelines in the second quarter of this year.

GSMA criticises Latin American spectrum policies

The GSMA has issued a report, “Effective spectrum pricing in Latin America: policies to support better quality and more affordable mobile services”, highlighting that spectrum policies in Latin America are impacting the delivery of quality mobile services to consumers across the region.

Tunisia updates regulatory priorities

The Tunisian telecom authority INT (Instance Nationale des Telecommunications) has published a summary of its main priorities for 2018, which include a number of new initiatives alongside its ongoing activities in the areas of consumer protection, quality of service, and regulation of wholesale broadband offers, notes Telecompaper.

France’s regulator urges internet freedom in IoT devices

French communications regulator, Arcep, has urged Europe-wide action to force manufacturers to reverse policies on handsets, tablets and smart speakers perceived to be limiting internet freedom, reports Mobile World Live.

Social media companies need to do more to comply with EU consumer rules

The European Commission says social media companies need to do more to respond to the requests, made last March by the Commission and member states’ consumer authorities, to comply with EU consumer rules.

OECD releases latest figures on mobile and broadband trends

Mobile termination rates – the rates operators charge each other to connect calls – dropped by an average of 42% in OECD countries between 2014 and 2017 as a result of increased regulation and competition, according to new data released by the OECD.

Proposal for a federal 5G network in the US

Telecoms and law professor Rob Frieden has written about a US National Security Council initiative that identifies the security and public safety benefits in having a government owned 5G wireless network leased by commercial ventures.

Cyril Ramaphosa mentions technology in state of nation address

Cyril Ramaphosa, the new president of South Africa, included the following in his state of the nation address: “Our prosperity as a nation depends on our ability to take full advantage rapid technological change. This means that we urgently need to develop our capabilities in the areas of science, technology and innovation.

European operators say status quo is better than bad reform

The European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) has warned that the current negotiations on the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) may “result in a worsened climate for digital growth”...

Expert report on AI warns of malicious use

Experts on the security implications of emerging technologies have written a report that sounds the alarm about the potential malicious use of artificial intelligence (AI) by rogue states, criminals, and terrorists.

APAC Bytes February 2018

APAC Bytes February 2018

Malaysia’s Public Sector: Leading Policy Formulation with the Private Sector

A number of Malaysia’s public sector agencies hosted closed-door industry discussions with technology companies, during a public policy delegation organised by the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA) visit in late January 2018.

Journalists 'at risk of jail time' under new foreign interference laws

Australia’s largest media organisations fear that new foreign interference laws could see journalists thrown in jail.

Notifiable Data Breaches scheme to be effective from February

Australian agencies and organisations will be obligated by law to report data breaches under the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme from 22 February 2018.

Changes to modernise spectrum management in Australia

New Government-approved changes will make for a more efficient and transparent management framework in Australia.

The Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA) Releases an Industry Statement on the Future of Work

Future-proof technology policies are key to the Asia Pacific region harnessing the future of work, says the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA).

Challenges mount to US net neutrality repeal

A group of 21 US state attorney generals have filed suit to challenge the FCC’s decision to do away with net neutrality while Democrats said they needed just one more vote in the Senate to repeal the FCC ruling, reports Reuters.

India consults on new telecoms policy

TRAI, India’s telecoms regulator, has consulted on a new telecoms policy being formulated by the government to attract $100 billion worth of investment in a sector that's going through consolidation amid intense competition, notes Economic Times.

‘No change’ in VoIP policy in UAE

The UAE's telecoms regulator has clarified that there is no change in its policy towards voice over internet protocol (VoIP) applications, following complaints by users that phone and video service Skype had been disrupted, reports The National.

Ofcom’s review of regulatory trends

UK regulator, Ofcom, has issued its “International communications market report 2017”, which includes a section on regulatory context.

FCC issues plan on new economics office

The US FCC has issued a plan for a new Office of Economics and Analytics (OEA), part of reforms for the agency in organisational structures, authorities, and practices “to better incorporate economic analysis as well as data management as part of the agency’s regular operation”.

Community fibre betters commercial ISPs in the US

Researchers at the Berkman Klein Center in the US have found advantages for consumers in community fibre broadband compared with commercial offerings.

Benin transfers all subscribers of a mobile network

Benin’s Authority for Regulation of Electronic Communications and Post (ARCEP) signed a decision on 17 January 2018 reassigning all subscribers of Globacom Benin (Glo Mobile) to the network of Moov Benin, reports TeleGeography.

New Zealand resumes backhaul study

New Zealand’s Commerce Commission has resumed a study into backhaul services, which was put on hold in February 2017 while the government proceeded with its review of the Telecommunications Act.

Poland’s regulator issues final wholesale broadcasting proposals

UKE, the Polish regulator, has closed a consolidation procedure on its draft proposals for the regulation of broadcasting services and television wholesale markets in Poland, notes Global Telecoms Business.

Netherlands pronounces on the digital economy

The Dutch government says it will come out this year with a strategy to help entrepreneurs and people in the Netherlands to benefit from the digital economy, notes Telecompaper. Secretary of State Mona Keijzer stated in an opinion that digitisation is not only about economics, but also touches on relationships in society, on safety and on accessibility.

Q&A with Yasmin Mahmood

Datuk Yasmin Mahmood, CEO, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC)

Upcoming changes to copyright duration terms in Australia

New standard terms of copyright protection for original published and unpublished materials will take effect from 1 January 2019.

New laws for data breach reporting in Australia commence in February

Under new laws, organisations regulated by the Privacy Act 1988 will be required to notify any individuals likely to be at risk of “serious harm” as a result of a data breach from 22 February 2018.

ACMA completes multiband residual lots auction

Optus, Telstra, TPG, NBN Co and Vodafone have all secured spectrum that will help them meet the rising demand for mobile and fixed wireless broadband services.

ACMA introduces new regulations to support intelligent transport systems

The Australian Communications and Media Authority have introduced new regulations permitting the use of intelligent transport systems (ITS)...

Data Driven Economy: Market Trends and Policy Perspectives

The report is divided in to two parts, the first relates to markets trends in the digital economy, the second examines the policy perspective focusing on competition, regulation and privacy profiles.

Report shows Australian demand for digital connectivity at an all-time high

Findings from the ACMA’s Communications report 2016-17 show that Australia’s demand for online content and services continues to grow unabatedly.

APAC Bytes January 2018

APAC Bytes January 2018 issue

Q&A with Rob Strayer

Rob Strayer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Cyber and International Communications and Information Policy, US State Department

APAC Bytes December 2017

APAC Bytes December 2017 issue

ACCA’s Financial Services: Ready for the Cloud

On 22 November 2017, Ms Lim May-Ann, Executive Director of the ACCA, presented findings from ACCA’s Asia’s Financial Services: Ready for the Cloud report at the National Institute for Public Policy and Finance (NIPFP) in New Delhi.

European Parliament rejects ending audiovisual territory licensing

The European Parliament has rejected proposed legislation intended to prevent territory-by-territory licensing of programming across the European Union (EU), reports Informitv.

China sends out digital economy signals

China is willing to deepen global cooperation in the digital economy to gain new momentum and expand global economic growth, the head of the country’s internet regulatory body has said.

Germany weighs up regulatory reform to speed fibre deployment

Germany’s telecoms industry should accelerate the build-out of the country’s high-speed broadband network, its regulator said, adding it was considering easier regulation on fibre internet to speed the process, noted Reuters.

UNICEF and European Commission release reports on children

Despite children’s massive online presence – 1 in 3 internet users worldwide is a child – too little is done to protect them from the perils of the digital world and to increase their access to safe online content, UNICEF said in its annual flagship report.

Bulgaria to prioritise European Communications Code in Council presidency; full EU spectrum reform in doubt

Bulgaria will focus its attention on speeding up negotiations on the European Communications Code when it takes over the 6 month rotating presidency of the Council of Ministers in January, notes EurActiv.

Kenya to force mobile money competition

he Communications Authority of Kenya will force mobile phone operators to share money transfer infrastructure, reports The Standard.

Australia opens inquiry into digital platforms

Australia’s government has directed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to start an inquiry into digital platform providers such as Facebook and Google.

France’s regulator sets out framework for fibre rollout

Arcep has set the regulatory framework that will govern how the incumbent, Orange, will roll out fibre services and access, notes Global Telecoms Business.

FCC pairs with health body in rural cancer support

The US Federal Communications Commission’s Connect2Health Task Force (C2HFCC) has announced that the FCC and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have joined forces, signing a memorandum of understanding that will focus on how increasing broadband access and adoption in rural areas can improve the lives of rural cancer patients.

India’s TRAI supports net neutrality in latest recommendations

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has come out in strong support of net neutrality in a series of recommendations following a long process of consultation on the issue, reports The Hindu.

Data protection will ‘boost growth’ in Africa

Experts in information and communication technology say enforcing data protection laws will boost growth in Africa’s digital economy, reports The Cable.

European reaffirms support for net neutrality

The European Commission (EC) has reaffirmed its commitment to preserving net neutrality across Europe in the wake of a US vote to repeal its regulations, notes Mobile World Live.

FCC goes ahead with net neutrality repeal

As expected, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted on party lines “to restore the longstanding, bipartisan light-touch regulatory framework that has fostered rapid internet growth, openness, and freedom for nearly 20 years”.

Fake news on the agenda of the EU’s digital commissioner

Fake news is a disease that European society needs to be “vaccinated” against, the EU’s digital commissioner Mariya Gabriel said as she opened a call for public comments on how the EU should respond to the spread of false information on internet platforms, reports Euractiv.

FCC goes ahead with media ownership changes

As expected, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has loosened media ownership regulations in the US after a 3-2 vote by its executive which, while an expected development under the Trump administration, has drawn a mixed reaction, notes Rapid TV News.

Telcos battle carmakers over communications approach

A fierce debate has gripped Europe’s automobile industry that will shape the future of all cars sold across the region: how to get internet-connected vehicles to “talk” to each other while travelling on the road, reports the Financial Times.

Illicit TV devices fail safety checks

Those tempted to buy illicit TV access devices such as the fabled Kodi box may get their fingers burned, literally, says a report from Electrical Safety First and FACT, one of the UK’s intellectual property protection organisations.

Wiretapping children’s watches banned in Germany

Certain smartwatches for children can no longer be sold in Germany as some of these models are equipped with a “wiretapping” function, reports Deutsche Welle. Germany’s Federal Network Agency, or Bundesnetzagentur, announced the ban saying that these watches can be classed as ‘unauthorised transmitters’.

Poland allows wireless testbed

The Polish senate has passed a law allowing the country’s mobile operators to test new wireless technologies without incurring frequency utilisation fees, notes TeleGeography.

FCC enacts next-gen network reforms; announces millimetre wave spectrum

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has enacted reforms that it says will better enable providers to invest in next-generation networks. The FCC is also seeking comment on additional reforms, including how the FCC can expedite rebuilding and repairing broadband infrastructure after natural disasters.

Italy joins in digital taxation plans

Italy is putting forward plans for a digital sales levy as a European crackdown on how large US internet groups pay tax gathers momentum, reports the Financial Times.

Serbia adopts new communications law

The Serbian government has adopted a new law on electronic communications that will bring the nation into full compliance with the EU’s 2009 regulatory framework, notes TeleGeography.

Australia highlights broadband consumer concerns

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has published a draft report detailing its market study of the communications sector, which includes 29 recommendations spanning a wide range of competition and consumer issues in communications markets.

Africa’s taxes are ‘holding up connectivity’

African taxmen pick on phone companies because they make lots of money and keep excellent records in a continent where both these things are rare, writes the Economist.

Australia’s chief scientists calls for AI regulatory framework; ACCC keeping tabs

Australia's chief scientist, Alan Finkel, has called on governments and businesses across the world to consider developing a regulatory framework for artificial intelligence devices, ranging from the likes of Apple's Siri to weaponised drones, reports the Australian Financial Review.

US stock markets converge on telecoms

US equities indices are poised for a revamp to keep up with the evolving nature of communications, reports the Financial Times.

Q&A with Dr Robert Pepper

Dr Robert Pepper, Head, Global Connectivity Policy and Planning, Facebook

Economics of Australia’s national broadband network in doubt

The CEO of Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) company, Bill Morrow, has confirmed what the industry has been saying for years: that the network builder’s economic model is broken and that – under current conditions – it may never turn a profit, report IT News.

European operators warn of risks to infrastructure under reform plans

ETNO, the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association, has issued a strong warning about the direction of the European Electronic Communications Code. It says it is “no ordinary legislation. This is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to unlock investment in world-class infrastructure, which is the core of a successful society and economy.

Child online safety highlighted in UK report and green paper

A review by the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) evidence group, made up of researchers from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Middlesex University and the University of Central Lancashire, has highlighted the major risks, opportunities and emerging trends for children online.

Somalia passes communications act, clears way for regulator

The federal parliament of Somalia has passed a communications act that seeks to streamline the country's telecoms sector and tackle the growing cybercrimes in the country, reports the Horn Observer.

Germany’s regulator rules on zero-rating case

The German telecoms regulator, Bundesnetzagentur, has issued a decision on Deutsche Telekom's zero-rated StreamOn offers, ruling that the scheme is legal, but the company must make some modifications, notes ZDNet.

FCC chairman wants FM radio enabled in mobile phones

FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, wants Apple to turn on the FM radio that’s hidden inside iPhones, reports The Verge. In a statement, he asked that Apple “reconsider its position, given the devastation wrought by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.”

FCC votes to end local rule for TV stations

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC)  has voted to eliminate a longstanding rule covering radio and television stations, in a move that could ultimately reshape America's media landscape, reports the Washington Post.

UK’s Ofcom warned on investment strategy

A proposal by UK regulator, Ofcom, to force the wholesale network operator, Openreach, into significantly cutting the wholesale price of its 40 Mbps fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) product for internet service providers (ISPs) has “been dealt a blow” after the government warned it would “disincentivise investment” in new “full fibre” (FTTP/H) networks.

European body issues statement on regulatory competence

BEREC, the body of European regulators, has issued a statement on the need for a minimum set of competences for independent national regulators (NRAs) for the new European Electronic Communications Code, as follows. First, independence is critical...

Industry pitches for self-regulation of ads

A trade association whose members include Google, Facebook and Twitter will pitch self-regulation instead of a proposed federal law requiring more disclosure for political advertising on their online platforms, reports Bloomberg.

Costa Rica’s regulator defends its decision on competition

Costa Rican telecoms regulator, Sutel, has ratified its decision to declare the nation’s wireless market competitive, rejecting an appeal from the Ombudsman’s Office of Costa Rica (DHR), reports TeleGeography.

UK report on AI holds back on regulation

Nine months after the UK government commissioned an independent review into artificial intelligence (AI), the authors have revealed their findings, reports Wired.

Colombia set to merge telecoms and TV regulators

Colombia’s Ministry of Information Technology and Communications (MinTIC) has presented a bill to Congress that will merge the telecoms regulator, the Commission for the Regulation of Communications, CRC) with the National Television Authority (ANTV),...

Europe seeks greater decryption powers for police

The European Commission is seeking to give police greater powers to decrypt private messages as part of a wider proposal to crackdown on criminals and terrorists, reports EUobserver.

Australia decides not to mandate mobile roaming

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has decided not to “declare” (mandate) domestic mobile roaming. However, it says it has identified a range of regulatory and policy measures that could improve inadequate mobile phone coverage and poor quality of service in regional Australia.

Spectrum assignment report issued by European Commission

A report for DG Connect at the European Commission examines the approaches used by member states for authorising and assigning spectrum with a view to determining which methods might be most appropriate in the context of future 5G services.

Momentum increases in Latin American roaming

Bolivia's telecommunications regulation authority, ATT, and the ITU have issued a statement confirming that they will work together to promote the goal of ending international roaming charges between countries in the Andean community, reports Telecompaper.

Slovenia successfully tests emergency call system from cars

The system that makes emergency calls from car, eCall, has been successfully tested at an event in Slovenia.

Estonian presidency pushes ahead with European reform

The European Council has granted the Estonian presidency a mandate to begin negotiations with the European Parliament on the new European Electronic Communications Code. “Our future is digital, and these rules are key to creating a gigabit society throughout the EU,” said Urve Palo, Estonia's Minister for Entrepreneurship and Information Technology.

Q & A Howard Symons

Partner, Jenner & Block LLP

Workplace health tracking devices could be ruled out in Europe

Startups hoping to sell health tracking devices and software to corporate customers are worried European regulators will torpedo their business model, reports Bloomberg.

Consenting to adware on new computers

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US says it cannot stop computer makers from selling computers that inject ads into webpages to US consumers, notes Ars Technica.

Voice calling apps in India may no longer be an issue

A boost in data usage from the use of voice calling apps may mean the long-running debate into their regulation in India may turn out to be a “non-issue”, a source at the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) told The Economic Times.

Thailand should focus on digital economy, says Internet Society director

Thailand needs to upgrade the National Broadcasting and Telecom Commission (NBTC) to focus more on coordinating various elements of the digital economy and society, says Rajnesh Singh, director for Asia-Pacific of the Internet Society, as the Nation reports.

South African draft mobile data regs could have unintended effects

The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa's (ICASA’s) recent draft regulations on mobile data expiry and changes to out-of-bundle billing practices for telecoms operators could unintentionally raise data prices, reports ITWeb.

Q&A with Roberto Viola

Roberto Viola, European Commission

EU member states reject extending spectrum licence terms

EU member states have rejected a European Commission proposal to extend licences for wireless radio spectrum to last at least 25 years – one of the cornerstones of the EU executive’s new attempt to overhaul telecoms law, reports Euractiv.

Mapping digital financial inclusion

The Brookings Financial and Digital Inclusion Project (FDIP) report for 2017 evaluates access to and usage of affordable financial services by underserved people across 26 geographically, politically and economically diverse countries.

Denmark’s regulator issues broadband competition framework

Denmark’s telecoms regulator, the Danish Business Authority (Erhvervsstyrelsen), has published two documents outlining the framework for competition in the broadband market, with the new decisions set to enter into force on 17 November 2017, notes TeleGeography.

Costa Rican court intervenes on mobile regulation

Costa Rica’s constitutional court has ordered sector watchdog the Superintendency of Telecommunications (Sutel) to impose a temporary minimum data transfer rate for post-paid mobile internet users that exceed their fair usage allowance, notes TeleGeography.

Caribbean states to update telecoms legislation

The five member states of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) are updating their telecoms framework with legislation, reports the St Kitts & Nevis Observer. A new electronic communications bill is expected to come before the parliaments of the member states.

Germany paves the way for cross-border IoT

Germany’s regulator, Bundesnetzagentur, has published rules for the cross-border marketing of mobile numbers which will further facilitate the global sale of machine-to-machine (M2M) applications.

European Commission to review roaming charge ban

The European Commission has already issued a call for tenders to carry out a study on the cost of providing wholesale roaming services in the EU/EEA countries, soon after the 15 June 2017 rule on banning roaming charges for fair usage came into effect.

Digital giants, data and European authorities

US tech giants are back in Europe’s spotlight, reports the Financial Times. Facebook and Google are both in the headlines over sanctions from European authorities, with Google kicking off its fight against a €2.4bn EU fine for abusing its market dominant position.

OECD reports on Mexico’s telecoms reform

Mexico’s 2013 telecom reform has brought benefits, spurring competition that has increased access and brought down mobile internet costs from among the highest in advanced economies to among the lowest, according to the OECD Telecommunication and Broadcasting Review of Mexico 2017.

US politicians unite on self-driving car regulation

The US House Energy and Commerce Committee has unanimously passed the Self Drive Act, which makes it easier for NHTSA to regulate what a self-driving car will look like.

Swiss government upgrades its telecoms act

The Swiss Federal Council has adopted a partial revision of the Telecommunications Act (TCA), and the draft legislation will now be dealt with by parliament. The revision covers broadband services that are replacing traditional telecoms services and gives greater weight to consumer concerns, promotes competition and deregulation, and simplifies administration.

New Zealand introduces updated telecoms act

New Zealand’s Communications Minister Simon Bridges has introduced a bill to update the country’s telecoms act with a focus on increasing regulatory oversight and improving service quality, reports Mobile World Live.

Australia tunes up for 5G

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has used a “spectrum tune-up” meeting to propose an accelerated process for considering releases in the millimetre wave spectrum for 5G broadband, and has released a consultation paper on the topic.

European employees must be told of workplace email monitoring

Companies must tell employees in advance if their work email accounts are being monitored without unduly infringing their privacy, the European Court of Human Rights said in a ruling on defining the scope of corporate email snooping, reports Reuters.

GSMA finds fault in wholesale access networks

The GSMA has brought out a report, “Wholesale open access networks”, which examines the performance of the wholesale open access network (WOAN) model (also known as single wholesale network, SWN) in five markets: Kenya, Mexico, Russia, Rwanda and South Africa.

Report on good regulatory design

Regulations help governments support economic growth, social welfare and environmental protection. The challenge is to design clear, coherent and efficient regulations and to effectively implement them, according to a report by the OECD and the Korea Development Institute, which is about facilitating good regulatory design and implementation.

Calls for digital taxation on internet giants

France, Germany, Italy and Spain want digital multinationals like Amazon and Google to be taxed in Europe based on their revenues, rather than only on their profits, their finance ministers said in a joint letter, reports Reuters. 

Net neutrality complaints logged as FCC prepares to overturn the Open Internet Order

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released more than 13,000 pages of net neutrality complaints filed by consumers against their internet service providers, reports Ars Technica.

Q&A with Augusto Preta

Augusto Preta - CEO, IT Media Consulting, Chairman, IIC Italian Chapter

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