QuickLinks - Telecommunications
Issue no. 194 - 23 April 2001
- EU - Ministers deal telecoms blow to Commission
European Union ministers thwarted plans by the European Commission to become the ultimate supervisor of telecommunications regulations in the 15-nation bloc in a move that may upset the industry. The ministers reached an agreement on an ambitious telecoms package to harmonise regulations across the bloc for this key European industrial sector. However, the deal was reached only after they had killed a controversial Commission proposal to have the last say in telecoms regulation. The decision leaves regulatory power in the hands of national telecoms authorities. After a marathon ten hours of talks in Luxembourg, ministers also agreed on how to define significant market power in the sector, a prerequisite for imposing obligations on operators.
Issue no. 193 - 3 April 2001
- USA - FCC chief unveils market-friendly blueprint
Michael Powell, chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), laid out his plan for overhauling the agency, promising to give the market more room to maneuver through a "creative" regulatory approach, but warned that the agency would seek stronger powers to enforce the current laws.
Issue no. 191 - 19 March 2001
- Luxembourg fails to comply with rules on rights of way in telecoms
The Commission has brought an action against the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg before the Court of Justice for an infringement relating to rights of way in the telecommunications sector. The 1996 'full competition' Directive provides for the granting of such rights on a non-discriminatory basis. This was transposed into Luxembourg law but has not been practically enforced in this Member State. New market entrant telecommunications operators have come up against a number of difficulties when deploying their networks.
- South Africa - State-owned Telecommunications Monopoly Set To End
(Panafrican News Agency)
Telkom - the government owned telecommunications monopoly - will soon face new competition.
Issue no. 190 - 12 March 2001
Issue no. 189 - 5 March 2001
- U.S. calls on Japan to increase telecom deregulation
The United States called on Japan to further deregulate its telecommunications market, stressing the need for an independent regulator and fairer competition in broadband, or high-speed Internet services.
Issue no. 187 - 17 February 2001
- Germany - DT in pricing investigation
RegTP, the German telecoms regulator, is investigating the pricing of Deutsche Telekom's high-speed internet services, in a move that may expose Deutsche Telekom to another adverse ruling from RegTP.
- Germany - RegTP muss Millionen an Telekom-Firmen zurückzahlen
Die Regulierungsbehörde für Telekommunikation und Post (RegTP) soll an die Deutsche Telekom und an Mobilfunkbetreiber bereits erhobene Gebühren in dreistelliger Millionenhöhe zurückzahlen. Keine Rechtsmittel wird gegen ein entsprechendes Urteil des Verwaltungsgerichts Köln eingelegt.
Issue no. 186 - 3 February 2001
- USA - How the Telecom Act created a new breed of speed
As the historic Telecommunications Act reaches its five-year anniversary this month, its most tangible accomplishment may be something not even known to many legislators who drafted the landmark law: broadband technology
Issue no. 184 - 20 January 2001
- Singapore Mobile Operator Fined Over Call Inserts
Siingapore mobile network operator M1 has been called into line over 10-second messages it forced on users making international calls that had to be routed through competing carriers.
- Germany - Telekom stoppt neue Durchleitungstarife
Die Telekom hat vor dem Verwaltungsgericht Köln in einem Eilverfahren den Stopp der im September 2000 von der Regulierungsbehörde für Telekommunikation und Post (RegTP) festgelegten neuen Durchleitungstarife erreicht. Dies ist ein harter Schlag gegen die Konkurrenten des Ex-Monopolisten, die nun erst einmal nicht auf sinkende Kosten bei der Nutzung des Netzes der Deutschen Telekom ab dem 1. Juni hoffen dürfen.
- UK - Oftel speeds up urban broadband
The UK telecoms regulator Oftel has paved the way for an early introduction of high-speed internet in urban areas. Oftel's objective is to ensure that construction of co-location facilities begins in the highest priority exchanges before Easter. Agreement to open up urban exchanges early for competing broadband companies was reached between the UK telecoms incumbent British Telecoms and other firms. see also BT and Oftel baffled as unbundling fails to attract (ZDNet UK).
Issue no. 183 - 14 January 2001
- Stockholm may cut Telia stake
The Swedish government may cut its stake to less than 50 per cent in Telia, the telecommunications operator unsuccessful in its bid for one of Sweden's third-generation mobile phone licences, so that it can take part in the European industry consolidation.
- Verkehrsminister uneinig über europäisches GPS-System
Bei der EU-Ratstagung der europäischen Verkehrsminister in Brüssel am 20. und 21. Dezember ist noch kein Beschluss über den Aufbau eines unabhängigen europäischen Satellitennavigationssystems gefasst worden.
Issue no. 182 - 20 December 2000
Issue no. 181 - 10 December 2000
- BT forced to open up wholesale DSL network
UK telecoms watchdog Oftel has made moves to bridge the gap between now and the unbundling of the local loop by forcing BT to open up its wholesale digital subscriber line (DSL) service and network to rival operators Thus and Energis, allowing for greater initial broadband competition.
- EU regulators group faces harmonization challenge
A serious bid to harmonize the implementation of EU (European Union) legislation across its national telecommunication sectors has been launched by the IRG, the international regulators group linking the EU's 15 national telecoms authorities with those of the four EFTA (European Free Trade Area) countries - Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.
- Europeans Free Phone Market for Local and Internet Service
(New York Times)
European industry ministers approved a regulation intended to create competition among local telephone networks, paving the way for cheaper, quicker Internet access for businesses and, to a lesser extent, homes in European Union countries.
Issue no. 180 - 3 December 2000
- EU Court Condemns Italy, Belgium
The European Court of Justice said Italy and Belgium failed to correctly implement parts of the EU's telecom legislation to introduce fair competition in the sector. In two separate judgements, the court said Italy has not implemented a directive on a competitive telecom environment, while Belgium has not correctly introduced the interconnection directive.
- Greek Parliament passes telecoms deregulation bill
Greece's Parliament approved a bill deregulating the country's telecommunications market as of January 1, 2001 and ending OTE Telecoms fixed line monopoly on December 31.
- Spanish telecoms regulator to have powers curbed
The Spanish government is to reduce the powers of the regulator, the Telecoms Market Commission (CMT). Under the new law, the CMT will lose its role as an arbiter in disputes such as those in universal services. The CMT will not be able to take decisions on key matters such as the quality of phone services and service pricing.
- EU - Deregulation, flexibility and harmonisation in electronic communications
Erkki LIIKANEN Member of the European Commission responsible for Enterprise and the Information Society, 2nd European Parliamentary Conference on Information Society Brussels, 22 November 2000.
Issue no. 179 - 26 November 2000
Issue no. 177 - 12 November 2000
- BT rivals slam plans for broadband Internet
At a meeting chaired by telecoms regulator Oftel to tackle disputes over the process known as unbundling of the local loop, BT said it expected to make at least 600 of its 6,000 exchanges available for connections to high-speed ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) Internet equipment between January and June, but it said for all but 190 of those exchanges operators would have to install equipment in adjacent buildings, saddling them with the cost of buying nearby houses or renting office space.
Issue no. 176 - 5 November 2000
- Storm over Spanish 3G fees
Spanish telecommunications groups are threatening to take the Madrid government to court over its decision to raise 30-fold the fee charged to holders of third generation mobile phone licences.
- Zimbabwe court nullifies state telephone monopoly
Zimbabwe's Supreme Court has nullified the state-owned Post and Telecommunications Corporation's (PTC) monopoly on fixed telephone line services following a challenge by a private company.
- EU - Unbundled access to the local loop
Informal consolidated text (PDF format) of the proposed Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on unbundled access to the local loop, including the amendments voted by the European Parliament during the plenary session of 26 October 2000.
- Switzerland - Swisscom appeals to leased line price ruling
Swiss dominant telecoms operator Swisscom will appeal to the Federal Court over a ruling by the ComCom regulator which ordered price cuts of up to 63 percent on leased lines.
Issue no. 175 - 29 October 2000
Issue no. 174 - 21 October 2000
Issue no. 173 - 15 October 2000
- Dutch court orders government to review UMTS auction after Versatel complaints
A Rotterdam court ordered the Dutch government transport ministry to review the auction of Universal Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS) frequencies last summer following complaints on the auction's procedure from Versatel Telecom International NV.
- European Parliament backs LLU
New telecom market entrants should be entitled to compensation if local loop unbundling does not take place by 31 December, the Industry Committee of the European Parliament has agreed.
- Global Net Charging Decision Welcomed Outside The US
The Australian Communications Authority (ACA), an Australian government agency, has welcomed a decision by members of an international telecommunications body to share the costs of Internet data traffic transmitted around the globe. The agreement was reached - in spite of American objections - at a recent meeting in Montreal of the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA).
- Telmex forced to cut rates by 63%
Telmex, Mexico's dominant telecommunications company, has been forced to slash its interconnection rates by nearly two-thirds as the country seeks to avoid a telecoms trade dispute with the US.
- Operators' body threatens to sever ITU links
European operators' body the European Public Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO), representing 46 member companies across the continent, has called upon the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to get its act together before operators begin to jump ship. Some of its members had, for the first time ever, stayed away from the ITU's recent World Telecommunications Standardization assembly in Montreal "out of frustration with the slow pace of the ITU reform process."
Issue no. 172 - 8 October 2000
- France Télécom anticipe le dégroupage
Suite à la décision de France Télécom de lancer deux forfaits téléphoniques pour le 6 novembre, l'ART vient de rendre un avis plutôt défavorable. Le gouvernement, quant à lui, doit encore se prononcer. Mais à la veille du dégroupage, ces deux forfaits suscitent déjà une levée de boucliers du côté des concurrents de l'opérateur historique. France Télécom invente les offres tout compris sur le téléphone de la maison : accès, trafic et services (communiqué de presse) et Homologation tarifaire : l’Autorité rend son avis sur les propositions tarifaires de France Télécom "Ligne locale" et "Ligne France (ART).
- ITU proposal could raise web costs
A proposal drafted at World Telecommunications Standardization Assembly calls for U.S. Internet backbone providers to compensate foreign carriers for carrying Internet traffic under reciprocal agreements, a proposal that could result in increased Internet access costs in North America.
- EU - Dégroupage de l'accès à la boucle locale
(Communiqué de presse)
2293ème session du Conseil - Télécommunications - Luxembourg, le 3 octobre 2000. Le Conseil a marqué son accord de principe unanime sur la proposition de la Commission pour un règlement relative au dégroupage de l'accès à la boucle locale visant à introduire une concurrence loyale au niveau de l'accès local au réseau. Autres points discutés: communications electroniques - cadre reglementaire commun pour les reseaux et les services de communications electroniques; organisation et gestion de l'Internet - résolution et creation d'un nom de domaine de premier niveau ".eu"; programme eContenu. (Local loop)
- Mexico - Telmex seeks injunction
Telmex, the Mexican telephone company, will go before Mexican courts to seek the suspension of recently issued government regulations that would curb its role as a dominant carrier.
Issue no. 171 - 1 October 2000
- Bitter and Twisted
Unbundling of Europe's copper is on the way. To read the media you might think a regulatory tweak here and a kick or two from the EU there will be enough to keep the process on track. In fact, the indications from new carriers are that unbundling wars, particularly in the U.K., are just beginning.
- BT may face legal threat over local loop access
Telecommunications companies angered by British Telecommunication's delay in opening up its local monopoly are considering legal action against the former monopoly if the situation does not improve. see also Microsoft accuses BT of spoiling tactics in high speed Web roll-out (Total Telecom).
- Swisscom gets reprieve in last-mile monopoly vote
Swisscom has won a last-minute reprieve from attempts to abolish its "last-mile" monopoly, which lets the state-controlled telecoms group keep control over direct access to homes and other retail customers. The lower house of parliament voted 76-69 to postpone a decision on letting Swisscom's rivals compete for last-mile linkups from their networks to residential clients.
Issue no. 170 - 24 September 2000
- Canadian open access even more open
(Globe and Mail)
Canada's CRTC has ordered the Canadian phone companies to provide DSL open access to competitors. The decision comes following a complaint from Covad Communications that the current policies unfairly discriminate against foreign competition. see also Open access north of the border.
Index page see also Audiovisual | Convergence
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