5/14/2009 10:53:00 AM
New Europe-wide body brings together national regulators
The EU is poised to appoint a super-regulatory body that will bring together all 27 national regulators, including Ofcom in the UK, and enforce wide-ranging reforms to the industry.
Operators around Europe will be given new rules under a consumer protection agenda pursued by this newly established body acting on behalf of the EU.
Reforms will start in earnest, beginning with reducing the length of time involved in number porting to one day, setting a maximum length of 24 months for contracts and offering consumers greater transparency on the conditions when terminating contracts.
The establishment of the Body of European Regulators in Electronic Communications (BEREC) would bring national regulators together in an attempt to further integrate the European market and become the main advisory body to the Commission, the body that proposes legislation.
The creation of a European telecoms regulator was pushed by EU commissioner Viviane Reding, who continues to campaign for lower data roaming rates around Europe.
A telecoms reform package was first introduced by the Commission in 2007 and was voted on in the European Parliament on 6 May this year.
Malcolm Harbour, West Midlands MEP and vice president of the European Parliament’s science and technology unit, was involved in proposals for the package and told Mobile that aside from issues about internet access, the rest of the reforms had already been agreed on ‘in theory’.
He said: ‘This [BEREC] would be a step out from the existing European regulating group that would be provided with independent resources, and it would improve co-ordination between national regulators.’