QuickLinks - Telecommunications
Issue no. 229 - 23 March 2002
- EU - Commission opens infringement proceedings against five Member States
As part of its efforts to push for greater competition in broadband access, the European Commission has decided to open infringement proceedings against Germany, France, Ireland, the Netherlands and Portugal in relation to the Regulation on Unbundling of the Local Loop. The action is being taken because of the failure to ensure that the reference offer from incumbent operators is complete and sufficiently detailed. This offer should be sufficiently unbundled to allow competitors to pay just for what they require, and must provide in particular a breakdown of costs for the sub-loop so that an operator can install equipment closer to customers' premises than the local exchange.
Issue no. 227 - 10 March 2002
- USA- Supreme Court To Review FCC-NextWave Case
The U.S. Supreme Court will reconsider an appeals court's decision that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) illegally re-auctioned licenses the bankrupt telecom company NextWave Telecom claims as its own. NextWave bought the licenses for $4.7 billion but declared bankruptcy after placing a $500 million down payment. While a D.C. District Court said that the FCC could re-auction the licenses, an appeals ruled the licenses still officially belong to NextWave.
Issue no. 226 - 3 March 2002
Issue no. 225 - 24 February 2002
- EU - Commission welcomes falling telephone prices
The European Commission welcomed falling prices in the cost of calls made between telephone networks in the Community, and adopted a Recommendation that phases out benchmarks for interconnection charges between network operators.
Issue no. 224 - 16 February 2002
- EU - Telecoms package adopted
The Council of Ministers adopted the Telecoms package on 14 February 2002. Member States now have 15 months to implement this package into their national laws. The Telecoms package includes the following elements: a directive on a common regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services (Framework directive), an authorisation directive , an access & interconnection directive, a directive on universal service and users' rights and a decision on a regulatory framework for radio spectrum policy. The proposed E-communications privacy directive still needs to be agreed between European Parliament and Council. The Commission plans shortly to issue a number of measures linked to implementation of the new package: Guidelines on market definition and the assessment of significant market power; Recommendation on Relevant Product and Service Markets within the electronic communications sector, identifying those market segments where sector-specific regulatory obligations may be appropriate; Decision establishing a 'European Regulators Group', composed of national regulators and the Commission, and a Decision establishing a 'Radio Spectrum Policy Group'.
- Europe fails to open up local telephone networks
Attempts to foster competition in Europe's local telephone networks have failed, with Britain among the worst offenders in opening up the market. European Union laws to make incumbents open up their exchanges came into force a year ago, but a study shows that virtually no progress has been made. Figures produced by the European Competitive Telecommunications Association, the telecoms trade body, reveal that less than 0.01 per cent of European "local loop" lines have been unbundled to new entrants.
Issue no. 223 - 10 February 2002
- Deutschland - Diskriminierungsverfahren gegen die Telekom eröffnet
Die Regulierungsbehörde für Telekommunikation und Post (RegTP) ist einer Forderung von BT Ignite nachgekommen, ein Diskriminierungsverfahren gegen die Telekom zu eröffnen. Vorausgegangen waren Beschwerden, dass die Telekom zu lange benötige, um der Konkurrenz Mietleitungen bereitzustellen, und dadurch den Wettbewerb behindere.
Issue no. 222 - 2 February 2002
- USA - 11 Nations Snubbing Telecom Agreements - Comptel
A group of American telecom providers is warning U.S. trade negotiators that at least 11 key trading partners are not honoring agreements designed to open their telecommunications markets to U.S. companies.
Issue no. 221 - 26 January 2002
- Deutschland - Regulierungsbehörde stellt Verfahren wegen T-DSL-Preisen ein
Die Regulierungsbehörde für Telekommunikation und Post (RegTP) hat das Verfahren zur Überprüfung der T-DSL-Preise eingestellt. Damit hat die Telekom ihr Ziel erreicht: Mit einer freiwilligen Preiserhöhung beim T-DSL-Anschluss wollte der rosa Riese verhindern, dass die RegTP die T-DSL-Preise vorschreibt.
Issue no. 220 - 19 January 2002
Issue no. 218 - 6 January 2002
- EU - Commission takes action against Greece, Portugal and Germany on opening of the local loop
The European Commission has opened infringement proceedings against Greece, Portugal and Germany for failing to ensure that competitors are offered shared access to the local loop. The Regulation on unbundling of the local loop was designed to bring more competition to the provision of local broadband access. One of the options under the Regulation is for new entrants to offer 'DSL' (digital subscriber line) services for broadband access over the local telephone network while the incumbent continues to provide voice services over the same connection ('shared access').
- EU / Spain - Telefónica de España v Administración General del Estado
Judgment of the Court in Case C-79/00. Member States may impose on dominant operators the obligation to provide access to the subscriber loop and to offer interconnection at local and higher-level switching centres. Full text of judgment.
Issue no. 217 - 16 December 2001
- Deutschland - Gericht: Regulierer kassierte zu viel bei Telefonnummernvergabe
Die Regulierungsbehörde für Telekommunikation und Post (RegTP) hat von Telefongesellschaften zu hohe Gebühren für in Orts- und Mobilfunknetzen zugeteilte Rufnummern verlangt.
- EU - European Parliament adopts telecoms package
The European Parliament has adopted a compromise package for the proposed telecoms directive, aimed at harmonizing telecoms regulation across the EU. The main sticking point has been the controversial Article 6 of the framework directive, which, in the original text put forward by the Commission, gave the Commission a wide-ranging veto over the actions of national regulatory authorities (NRAs). The compromise essentially shrinks the veto to cover only two areas: defining a relevant market and deciding whether an organization has significant market power. see also Telecoms agreement is "major boost" to EU economy (RAPID), Breakthrough on reform of EU telecoms laws (FT) and References to source documents.
- USA - Broadband Deregulation Vote Delayed Till 2002
A pivotal vote on the Tauzin-Dingell broadband deregulation package in the House of Representatives has been postponed until next year so that lawmakers can have more time to review the legislation. If passed, the law would allow local Bell phone companies to offer broadband Internet services over long-distance lines without requiring the Bells to open their local phone service monopolies to outside competition. The bill would rewrite a portion of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that requires Bells to prove that they have opened their local phone markets before they can offer any sort of long-distance service - including voice and data.
Issue no. 216 - 8 December 2001
Issue no. 215 - 2 December 2001
Issue no. 214 - 23 November 2001
- EU telecoms entrants protest on access
Incumbent telecommunications companies across the European Union are failing to allow new entrants fair access to vital infrastructure linking customers to long-distance data networks, the European Commission was told. In an open letter to Mario Monti, EU competition commissioner, and Erkki Liikanen, telecoms commissioner, executives from a number of companies and federations, including WorldCom, KPNQwest and Energis, urged the Commission to take "swift action" to ensure laws were obeyed and that access regulations were harmonised throughout the EU.
- UK - BT faces unbundling fines
Telecoms regulator Oftel has imposed a regime of fines on BT for each day it restricts rival operators access to its exchanges. It hopes that hitting BT in the pocket will speed up the unbundling of the local loop - the last mile of copper or fibre lines between home and telephone exchange. see Oftel sets BT's service level agreements for LLU operators (Press Release).
- USA - FCC reaches settlement over NextWave wireless licences
The Federal Communications Commission has reached an agreement in the long-running legal battle over valuable spectrum licences. The deal is still at risk of falling apart, however, if Congress does not pass legislation by the end of the year that ratifies the settlement. see Chairman Powell's Statement on Conclusion of Discussions on Nextwave Licenses (FCC).
Issue no. 213 - 11 November 2001
- Schweiz: Digitalanschluss gehört zur Telecom-Grundversorgung
Ab Januar 2003 wird der gesetzliche Grundversorgungsauftrag im Schweizer Fernmeldewesen erweitert. Neben einem analogen Telefonanschluss sollen alle Einwohner -- egal wo sie wohnen -- über eine digitale Kommunikationsmöglichkeit verfügen. Die entsprechenden Anpassungen sind in der neuen Fernmeldeverordnung festgehalten.
- U.K. Telecom Regulator Bars '070' Revenue-Sharing
After a lengthy investigation, Oftel, the U.K. telecom regulator, has barred telcos from offering revenue-sharing deals on so-called "personal numbers." The "070" numbers originally were designed for users wanting a single number for all their points of contact. In return for this flexibility, callers to personal numbers pay rates similar to the cost of calling a mobile phone in the U.K. The call revenue is then split between the originating and destination telephone network. The profit from such calls effectively allow telcos to offer 070 numbers free of charge. see Oftel stamps out personal numbering scams (Press Release).
- USA - FCC Adopts Nationwide Rules For Gauging Telecom Competition
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to consider setting uniform, nationwide rules to better measure how well incumbent telephone companies comply with laws requiring them to open their networks to competitors.
Issue no. 210 - 14 October 2001
- USA - Weathering the telecom storm
Interview with Reed Hundt, a McKinsey adviser and recent chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission, about the future of the telecommunications industry and how to make deregulation work.
Issue no. 209 - 1 October 2001
- USA - Slew of Supreme Court Cases to Focus on '96 Telecom Law
(New York Times)
The Supreme Court begins its term with a full plate of telecommunications cases that lawyers say demonstrate the shortcomings of the landmark 1996 law that was supposed to deregulate the industry and introduce competition to telephone markets long dominated by monopolies. The 10 lawsuits, broadly consolidated into three sets of cases, present significant questions about the costs of local telephone and high- speed Internet services.
Issue no. 207 - 18 September 2001
- Australia - Alston the weakest link
Blame for the lack of effective competition in the Australian telecommunications industry has been laid squarely at the feet of the Federal Communications Minister, Senator Richard Alston, according to a new industry report. The report blamed Alston for his futile pursuit of Internet regulations for porn and online gambling.
Issue no. 206 - 3 September 2001
- EU - Brussels warns Spain on telecoms pricing
The European Commission has raised the possibility of taking Spain to court to increase competition in the country's local telecommunications market. Brussels is unhappy that wholesale prices which new entrants to the market have to pay for line rental are higher than the rates that domestic customers have to pay. see also Tariff rebalancing: Commission sends new warning to Spain (RAPID)
- Germany - Gericht: Telekom muss letzte Meile entbündeln
Die Deutsche Telekom muss nach einem Urteil des Oberverwaltungsgerichts Münster ihre Ortsnetze für die Konkurrenz öffnen. Den Antrag des Ex-Monopolisten auf einen einstweiligen Rechtsschutz wies der 4. Senat des Gerichts in der zweiten Instanz zurück.
- UK - BT faces fines over local loop unbundling
Telecoms regulator Oftel has decided that it is unacceptable for BT to further delay access to the local loop -- the part of its network that links individual homes and offices with a local exchange. Under the proposals, if an operator requests access to a BT exchange to install its equipment, BT will have to pay £80 for every working day's delay.
Issue no. 205 - 3 August 2001
Issue no. 204 - 27 July 2001
Issue no. 203 - 19 July 2001
Issue no. 202 - 5 July 2001
- France - L'ART valide les tarifs de France Télécom et mécontente les FAI
L'Autorité de régulation des télécommunications (ART) a approuvé le "tarif de gros" proposé par France Télécom aux fournisseurs d'accès pour l'exploitation de son réseau téléphonique régional. Selon AOL France, ces prix «sont 75% plus cher que les tarifs équivalents proposés au Royaume-Uni». voir ADSL: l'ART se prononce sur les nouveaux tarifs de France Télécom pour les ISP Avis | Analyse .
Issue no. 200 - 14 June 2001
- EU telecoms regulators unite for tougher line
Telecoms regulators are planning to form a pan-European authority amid fears that multinational companies are "picking off" national regulators through concerted lobbying campaigns. However, national regulators and governments have opposed suggestions that the European Commission should create a new institution to fill this role and over-rule existing national regulators. Instead, they intend to formalise an existing ad-hoc discussion group, the Independent Regulators Group.
Issue no. 199 - 4 June 2001
- Norway relaxes Telenor stance
In an unexpected announcement, Grete Knudsen, Norway's trade and industry minister, proposed to parliament to cut the state's stake in Telenor from 78 per cent to 34 per cent. Up to then, the government was only willing to consider 51 per cent as its absolute bottom.
Issue no. 198 - 28 May 2001
Issue no. 196 - 15 May 2001
Issue no. 195 - 8 May 2001
- Germany - Bundesgericht stärkt Rechte von Telekom-Konkurrenten
Das Bundesverwaltungsgericht in Berlin hat mit einem Grundsatzurteil Rechte von Konkurrenten der Telekom gestärkt. Die Richter entschieden am Mittwoch, dass die Deutsche Telekom AG neuen Anbietern auf der so genannten letzten Meile zum Kunden den direkten Zugang zu ihren Leitungen im Ortsnetz gewähren muss.
- Germany - Telefongesellschaften klagen gegen Regulierungsbehörde
Das Düsseldorfer Telekommunikationsunternehmen ISIS Multimedia Net hat vor dem Verwaltungsgericht Köln eine Klage gegen die Regulierungsbehörde für Telekommunikation und Post (RegTP) eingereicht. Das Unternehmen wendet sich zusammen mit fünf anderen regionalen Telefongesellschaften gegen die am 30. März von der Behörde festgelegten Teilnehmeranschlussgebühren, die Miete für die sogenannte letzte Meile.
Issue no. 194 - 23 April 2001
- UK - Government set to bail out telecoms industry
The government is set to bail out debt-laden telecoms companies by giving back the £22bn spent on 3G mobile phone licences. Senior Whitehall sources and telecoms industry insiders confirmed that discussions have taken place over a rebate.
Index page see also Audiovisual | Convergence
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