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European Telecom Providers Face Additional Regulatory Burdens
Feb 6, 2003

Despite efforts by Europe's telecoms to get The European Commission to be the sole regultarory authority in Europe and achieve regulatory harminization, telecom providers face two different sets of regulator in Europe. Unfortunately, this is giving place to multinational companies having to make sense of inconsistent decisions by national and European regulators.

New controversy has already surfaced. In the next few days, the new EU legislation is likely to deem 18 electronic communications subsectors insufficiently mature to be governed by ordinary competition law alone. Instead, national authorities can impose rules to prevent a company from dominating such sectors.

This implies the Commission's blessing for possible "crackdowns" by national regulators in subsectors ranging from public telephone network access to broadcasting transmission. Telecoms companies are already asking whether they really got streamlined regulation and single market or a barely more unified approach. The framework makes some good essential steps in terms of transparency and continuity, reward for innovation and investment and clarity in general but telecoms fear that might not be same as national authorities priorities.

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