EU reached an agreement to update its telecoms rules

The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union reached a political agreement to update the European Union’s telecoms rules, announced the European Commission. The new European Electronic Communications Code will modernise the current EU telecoms rules, which were last updated in 2009. The proposed changes will:

  1. Enhance the deployment of 5G networks by ensuring the availability of a 5G radio spectrum by the end of 2020 in the EU, and providing operators with predictability for at least 20 years in terms of spectrum licensing;
  2. Facilitate the roll-out of new fibre optic networks by making rules for co-investment, promoting sustainable competition, and a specific regulatory regime for wholesale only operators;
  3. Protect consumers, irrespective of whether end-users communicate through traditional or web-based services. This measure will include a better tariff transparency, price caps on international calls within the EU, easier change of service provider, and much more.

The European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO) is not in favour of the new code. The law foresees only limited progress on spectrum policy and a complex and weakened compromise on incentivising fibre investment, according to ETNO.