11/24/2009 4:37:00 PM
EU telecoms package receives approval
A raft of telecoms regulations have been approved by the European Parliament today (24 November).
The new laws will strengthen consumer rights across the board through a range of wide sweeping measures that may create problems for operators.
Earlier this year, the European Parliament approved the creation of a new European telecoms body, BEREC (Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications).
The measures that were approved today could see operators forced to cut the amount of time it takes to port a customer’s number to one working day, give customers the option of 12 month contracts, a cap on contract lengths at 24 months and strengthen personal data and privacy protection.
The package also includes liberalisation of spectrum and the harmonisation of mobile broadband to achieve 100% broadband coverage by 2013. Ofcom has welcomed the proposals relating to spectrum allocation.
The proposals failed to pass originally because the Member States did not agree on how to deal with illegal file sharing on the internet.
EU Commissioner for information, society and media, Viviane Reding (pictured) said: ‘500 million EU citizens will soon benefit from more consumer choice through enhanced competition on Europe’s telecoms markets, from better coverage with fast internet broadband connections across Europe, and from a stronger entrenchment of their right to privacy with regard to telecoms operators.
‘European consumers will also enjoy a substantial number of new rights, such as the right to switch fixed or mobile operator in one working day while keeping their number; the right to be better informed about the services they subscribe to; and the right to be informed about data breaches from their telecoms operator. Operators must also give consumers the option of signing a contract which lasts no longer than 12 months.’