EPP-ED backs EU telecoms shake-up

EPP-ED backs EU telecoms shake-up

STRASBOURG: EPP-ED group has welcomed commission proposals designed to revolutionise the telecoms sector, though industry remains cautious.

The review, announced yesterday by telecoms commissioner Viviane Reding, aims to liberalise the market by cutting regulation in half in order to boost competitiveness and investment.

It also aims to ensure more efficient spectrum management and to address regulatory fragmentation.

Reding described the move as the biggest deregulation package ever proposed by the commission.

Chichester said that the review gave the EU the "chance to reassess the existing framework, eliminate bottlenecks and foster the future development of the telecom market".

“The 2002 telecoms package has been a great success,” he said.

"The EPP-ED will work to ensure that the new framework improves competitiveness and supports higher investment levels in the European telecoms markets."

The telecoms industry has also cautiously welcomed the proposals.

“The commission recognises that regulation is still needed in key areas to ensure that those three essentials – competition, investment and innovation – can really take hold,” said BT Group European affairs president Robin Pauley.

"But regulation must be removed as soon as real competition allows and the commission has also recognised this with a big reduction in the number of market segments subject to regulation, which we applaud, although in the case of the mobile wholesale market we believe this to be significantly premature.”

Pauley said that the commission must now assess how best to get a level regulatory playing field across the EU.
However BEUC director Jim Murray was critical of the fact that SMS are not covered in the review.

“Nowadays SMS are a very popular and commonly used communication media,” he said.

“We are extremely disappointed by the fact that the costs of SMS are once again left out of a crucial EU piece of legislation.”

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