European Commission: more competition in telecom market but no Single Market

EU telecoms markets have become more competitive, citizens and businesses enjoy greater choice of services and cheaper prices but a single EU telecoms market is still far from reality, the European Commission said in a report on national telecoms regulation.
The increase in competition can be attributed the Commission's guidance in the consultation and review process known as the 'Article 7 procedure', whereby national telecoms regulators inform the Commission in advance of their plans to regulate parts of their national telecoms markets.

Since the creation of the Article 7 procedure, more than 1000 draft regulatory decisions have, been submitted for analysis to the Commission by National Regulatory Authorities.

The introduction of the notification procedure over the past two years has laid the groundwork for a softer and more adequate regulation of the telecoms market.

However national telecoms regulators continue to apply diverging solutions to cases where there are similar competition problems.

The solutions include: different regulatory approaches in cases where telecom operators separate the provision of services to other telecoms operators from those provided to end-users and different calculations for the charges.

A number of regulators still include non-related cost elements in the calculation of termination charges, such as spectrum costs, which leads to inflated charges.

Today's report also warns that regulatory uncertainty could hamper the roll out of investment-intensive infrastructure projects like Next Generation Access (NGA) networks, necessary for ensuring access to all European users to broadband services of at least 30Mbps until 2020.

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