EU’s proposed Electronic Communications Code to introduce new legal obligations for providers of over-the-top services

16 Sep 2016

The recent European Commission proposal for an EU Electronic Communications Code aims, among others, to introduce new legal obligations for providers of over-the-top services (OTT). As explained by the Commission, providers of OTT services that use numbers to allow end users to reach each other (i.e. to call phone numbers/be reachable via a phone number) are to become subject to the same rules applicable to tradition telecom operators (such as the obligation to provide contractual information to their customers, switching and emergency call rules, etc.). In the case of OTT services that do not make us of numbers, their providers will have to make sure that: their servers and networks are secure, disabled users have equivalent access to their services, and users can reach the EU emergency number 112 if there is evidence it is needed for public safety reasons and that the technical standards are available.

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Historically, telecommunications, broadcasting, and other related areas were separate industry segments; they used different technologies and were governed by different regulations.

 

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