Medzinárodné telekomunikačné fórum ATO 2007 | 20.november 2007, Primaciálny palác - Zrkadlová sieň, Bratislava | Motto: Nové technológie, nové služby, nové trendy, nové príležitosti

Info from abroad

Telecom rules: EU takes 5 Member States to court for 112 caller location deficiencies

Info from abroad |
22.03.2007 | Read: 15496 | Discussion: 2

In a new round of proceedings for infringements of EU telecom rules, the European Commission has decided to refer six Member States to the European Court of Justice: Italy, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Portugal and Slovakia for deficiencies related to Europe’s emergency number 112; and against Estonia for failing to carry out the required market analysis under the EU telecom rules. The Commission has also opened one new infringement case against Cyprus on rights of way for mobile markets. The Commission could also close four pending cases in this round.

Review of the eCommunicatios regulatory framework

Info from abroad | Tamara Vitteková
28.11.2006 | Read: 7291 | Discussion: 0

Dear Members, Active Observers, Observers and Experts, we would like to inform you that the responses to the public consultation on the Review of the eCommunicatios regulatory framework and the Revision of the Recommendation on relevant markets are now available on this Europa website (link).

ICT for growth and jobs: most EU Member States need to be more ambitious, criticises Commission’s first annual progress report

Info from abroad |
22.05.2006 | Read: 8177 | Discussion: 1

To get the full benefits from information and communication technologies (ICT), EU Member States need more ambitious plans to exploit them, says the Commission in its first annual progress report on i2010 – the digital economy part of the EU’s revised “Lisbon” strategy for growth and jobs. To help get growth back on track, Member States need to step up their efforts to improve access to broadband internet connections, facilitate the EU-wide circulation of digital content, free up radio spectrum for new applications, integrate research and innovation and modernise public services.

Správa o výsledku revízie rozsahu univerzálnej služby

Info from abroad |
11.04.2006 | Read: 7534 | Discussion: 1

Európska komisia uverejnila 25. mája 2005 oznámenie O revízii rozsahu univerzálnej služby spolu s pracovným dokumentom útvarov Komisie. V prvej pravidelnej revízii podľa článku 15 smernice o univerzálnej službe sa skúmalo, či by rozsah univerzálnej služby mal ostať rovnaký, alebo či by sa mal upraviť najmä na účely zahrnutia služieb v oblasti mobilnej alebo širokopásmovej komunikácie. Komisia požiadala verejnosť o pripomienky k svojej analýze a predbežným záverom, ako aj k niekoľkým dlhodobým otázkam s cieľom podnietiť politickú diskusiu zameranú na budúcnosť, ktorej výsledky sa môžu v roku 2006 premietnuť do všeobecnej revízie regulačného rámca v oblasti elektronických komunikácií. V súlade s článkom 15 ods. 2 smernice o univerzálnej službe predkladá Komisia Európskemu parlamentu a Rade správu o revízii, ktorú vykonala s prihliadnutím na výsledky verejného pripomienkovania.

International Mobile Roaming: Commissioner Reding outlines proposal for an EU regulation to bring down prices and presents new figures

Info from abroad |
28.03.2006 | Read: 7933 | Discussion: 2

Excessive charges for using your mobile phone abroad could soon belong to the past. The European Commission’s updated website of international roaming charges, unveiled today, adds further weight to its proposal to bring down these charges by means of an EU regulation. The updated website clearly shows that the price for a standard four-minute call has generally remained at the same high level across Europe since September 2005 (see IP/05/1217), and in some cases has even increased, despite warnings from the Commission to the industry that EU-wide regulation would be necessary if prices were not brought down (see IP/04/1458, IP/05/901and MEMO/05/247).

“Broadband for all”: Commission mobilises all its policy instruments to bridge the broadband gap

Info from abroad |
22.03.2006 | Read: 7372 | Discussion: 0

The Commission considers wide broadband coverage in Europe as crucial for fostering growth and jobs in Europe. This is why EU telecoms legislation, structural and rural policy instruments need to be mobilised in full respect of state aid rules in a joint drive to bring high-speed “broadband” internet access to all Europeans, in particular to the EU’s less-developed areas. This is the conclusion of “Bridging the Broadband Gap”, a European Commission Communication presented today jointly by the European Commissioners for Information Society and Media, Competition, Regional Policy and Agriculture and Rural Development.


Info from abroad |
20.02.2006 | Read: 7485 | Discussion: 0

The Commission’s i2010 initiative1 stresses the crucial role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in achieving the growth and jobs objectives of the Lisbon strategy. These objectives are underpinned by a European electronic communications regulatory framework designed to drive competition in the market, bringing investment and innovation, with choice, quality and lower prices for the consumer. The Member States have made considerable progress in implementing the rules. There are, however, still gaps, and it is now a priority to get the regulation fully in place.

Telecom liberalisation: EU rules help to free up markets but much remains to be done

Info from abroad |
08.02.2006 | Read: 8185 | Discussion: 0

Regular economic analysis by EU Member States and the European Commission of competition in electronic communications markets and Commission scrutiny of draft national rules are paving the way to free markets, regulated solely by competition law, says a progress report published by the Commission today. Regulation in this sector applies only to operators whose significant market power could prevent the full benefits of telecoms liberalisation from getting through to consumers. Wherever a market analysis has found tangible signs of sustainable competition, regulation has been trimmed back or removed altogether. However, much remains to be done. As of 30 September 2005, sixteen EU Member States had found no effective competition on one or more of the 18 electronic communications markets defined by the EU and had taken steps to boost competition on the markets concerned. Five Member States had found only partial competition on one or more of these markets and had imposed remedies where it was lacking. But nine Member States had yet to notify the Commission of their analyses of any of the 18 markets. Of the analysed markets (152 out of 450), 123 were not competitive, 19 fully competitive, and 10 partially competitive.[1]

Competition: Commission endorses, with comments, Spanish regulator´s measure to make mobile market more competitive

Info from abroad |
07.02.2006 | Read: 38527 | Discussion: 11371

The European Commission has endorsed a measure proposed by the Spanish national telecom regulator ‘Comisión del Mercado de las telecomunicaciones’ (CMT) to regulate the market for mobile access and call origination in Spain, but also asked the Spanish regulator to keep the market development under close review. As a result of this measure, so called Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) will be granted access to the networks of the three Spanish mobile telephony operators Telefónica, Vodafone and Amena. In the future, MVNOs will be able to offer mobile telephony services to their own retail customers and under their own brand name. MVNOs are operators that offer mobile telephony services using network infrastructure leased from other mobile telephony operators. Experience from other Member States has shown that the entry of MVNOs can boost competition with tangible benefits for consumers in terms of lower prices. The Commission’s decision is based on Article 7 of the EU Framework Directive for electronic communications (2002/21/EC), whereby the Commission ensures that there is a consistent application by national regulatory authorities of competition law principles in this sector.

Telecoms: Commission opens new round of infringement proceedings, but also sees positive results of previous ones

Info from abroad |
16.12.2005 | Read: 7230 | Discussion: 0

In a further round of infringement proceedings concerning the EU’s telecom rules, the European Commission has decided to take Sweden and Poland to the European Court of Justice for failing to implement EU rules on electronic communications. In 12 cases from the previous infringement rounds, the Commission has sent reasoned opinions (step two in the infringement procedure under Article 226 of the EC Treaty) to the Czech Republic (2), France, Greece, Latvia, Malta, Poland (2), Slovakia, Germany, Finland and the UK. These countries now have two months in which to respond. They could also face action before the European Court of Justice if they fail to comply with the EU telecom rules. In addition, the Commission has sent letters of formal notice (step one in the infringement procedure – failure of a Member State to fulfill an obligation) to the UK, Portugal, Cyprus, the Czech Republic and Lithuania. At the same time, the European Commission is closing 9 cases from previous infringement rounds, as the Member States concerned have meanwhile ensured effective implementation of the EU framework for electronic communications.

“.eu”: Europe’s new internet address opens for business on 7 December

Info from abroad |
02.12.2005 | Read: 8425 | Discussion: 0

The Commission announced today that the “.eu” top-level domain, which enables businesses, public bodies and citizens to choose a pan-European Internet name for their web sites and e-mail addresses, opens for business on 7 December 2005. A “.eu” suffix enables users to project a Europe-wide presence, ambition or affiliation. It complements, but does not replace, national country codes such as France’s “.fr”, Poland’s “.pl” or the UK’s “.uk”. A sunrise period of 4 months will allow holders of prior rights – including businesses – to apply for the registration of domain names provided they are settled in the European Union. From 7 April 2006, the Registry will open its doors for applications from the general public. With the launch of .eu, the Commission lives up to the promise made at the Lisbon European Council in 2000 to give Europe’s Information Society an identity on the web under reliable EU rules.

Český protimonopolný úrad udelil pokutu Českému Telecomu

Info from abroad | SITA
01.12.2005 | Read: 7162 | Discussion: 0

SITA - Český protimonopolný úrad udelil pokutu 205 mil. CZK Českému Telecomu, ktorý je dominantným telekomunikačným operátorom v ČR. Úřad pro ochranu hospodářské soutěže (ÚOHS) svoje rozhodnutie zdôvodnil tým, že Český Telecom bránil rozvoju konkurencie viazaním voľných minút na mesačné paušály za prenájom telefónnych liniek. Podľa ÚOHS Český Telecom viazaním voľných minút na mesačné paušály odrádzal zákazníkov od voľby alternatívnych operátorov, ktorí sa takto dostali do nevýhodnej pozície. Voľné minúty navyše komplikovali porovnávanie cien medzi jednotlivými operátormi.

Call for input on the forthcoming review of the EU regulatory framework for electronic communications

Info from abroad |
30.11.2005 | Read: 8442 | Discussion: 0

[Deadline 31 January 2006] The Commission Services invite interested parties to give their views on possible changes to the five EP and Council directives that constitute the current EU framework for electronic communications, and to the Recommendation on relevant markets.

The digital divide in Europe
85% of students used the internet in 2004

Info from abroad |
14.11.2005 | Read: 8882 | Discussion: 0

In the EU25, 85% of students (aged 16 or more in school or university) used the internet during the first quarter of 2004, as did 60% of employees, 40% of the unemployed and 13% of the retired, compared to an EU25 average of 47% for individuals1 aged from 16 to 74. This divide by employment status is also found by educational level2: only 25% of those with at most lower secondary education used the internet during the first quarter of 2004, while the proportion rose to 52% for those who had completed secondary education, and 77% for those with a tertiary education.

Electronic Communications: Commission takes action against nine Member States to ensure competitive conditions in the market

Info from abroad |
18.10.2005 | Read: 7298 | Discussion: 1

Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Poland and Slovenia are the countries which are targeted by the European Commission in a new round of infringement proceedings concerning the EU telecom rules. The European Commission today sent letters of formal notice to seven EU Member States for so far failing to notify it of electronic communications market reviews required by the EU regulatory framework for electronic communications.

Nemecký úrad skúma tarify Deutsche Telekomu

Info from abroad | SITA
17.10.2005 | Read: 7234 | Discussion: 0

Nemecký telekomunikačný úrad začal vyšetrovanie na podnet dvoch alternatívnych operátorov, podľa ktorých Deutsche Telekom svojim zákazníkom účtuje príliš nízke poplatky.

EK na internete zverejnila roamingové tarify v Európe

Info from abroad | SITA
05.10.2005 | Read: 7357 | Discussion: 0

Európska komisia (EK) v utorok sprevádzkovala novú internetovú stránku, na ktorej sú uverejnené roamingové tarify prevádzkovateľov mobilných telefónnych služieb vo všetkých 25 členských štátoch Európskej únie (EÚ). Nová stránka má podľa EK pomôcť zorientovať sa spotrebiteľom pri výbere roamingových mobilných operátorov. Stránka uvádza sumy vrátane DPH za volania aj prijaté hovory v silnej prevádzke v dĺžke štyroch minút v sieťach mobilných operátorov v danej krajine.

EU telecom rules: Commission takes action against 11 Member States to ensure effective implementation

Info from abroad |
13.07.2005 | Read: 7711 | Discussion: 1

The Commission sent letters to eleven EU Member States for failing to implement properly EU rules on electronic communications, including telecommunications. The Member States involved in this further round of Treaty infringement proceedings are the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Finland. The key issues at stake include the independence of the national telecoms regulator, the requirement of number portability and of comprehensive subscriber directories, designation of “universal service” providers, and the availability of the European emergency number 112.

Broadband access in the EU as at 1 January 2005

Info from abroad |
06.06.2005 | Read: 7758 | Discussion: 0

Take-up of high-speed “broadband” internet connections is growing fast, according to figures released today by Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding. There are now 40 million broadband lines in the EU, an increase of 70% on last year. This represents 45 000 new broadband lines on average per day, up from 29 000 per day in 2003. The surge in broadband take-up, driven by competition among market players to provide consumers with faster, lower-priced internet access, bodes well for the “i2010” strategy, tabled today (see IP/05/643), to boost jobs and growth in the digital economy. New entrants are stepping up investment in broadband infrastructure to build market share. Some European countries are among the top performers in the world while others are lagging behind.

Commission launches five-year strategy to boost the digital economy

Info from abroad |
02.06.2005 | Read: 7994 | Discussion: 0

The Commission today adopted the initiative “i2010: European Information Society 2010” to foster growth and jobs in the information society and media industries. i2010 is a comprehensive strategy for modernising and deploying all EU policy instruments to encourage the development of the digital economy: regulatory instruments, research and partnerships with industry. The Commission will in particular promote high-speed and secure broadband networks offering rich and diverse content in Europe.

Scope of Universal Service

Info from abroad |
31.05.2005 | Read: 12240 | Discussion: 1568

On 24 May 2005 the European Commission adopted a Communication on the Review of the Scope of Universal Service in accordance with Article 15 of Directive 2002/22/EC (Universal Service Directive), which is open for public consultation. The Communication includes the Commission analysis and assessment whether the current scope of universal service should be changed or redefined in particular to cover mobile and broadband communications. It also launches a broader policy debate on universal service provision in view of the overall assessment of the EU regulatory package for e-communications scheduled for 2006, when the Universal Service Directive will be also reviewed in its entirety.

Commission expects most broadcasting in the EU to be digital by 2010

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25.05.2005 | Read: 9837 | Discussion: 1

The European Commission today urged EU Member States to accelerate the switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting. Digital broadcasting provides improved picture quality, better sound, better portable and mobile reception, more TV and radio channels and enhanced information services. As digital broadcasting uses spectrum more efficiently, it would also free up spectrum capacity for other uses, such as new broadcasting and mobile telephony services, which will in turn stimulate innovation and growth in the TV and electronic communications industries. The Commission expects the transition to digital to be well advanced by 2010 and proposes a deadline of early 2012 for phasing out traditional analogue terrestrial broadcasting. The Commission also calls for a co-ordinated approach to making freed-up spectrum available across the EU.

State aid: Commission endorses public funding for broadband network in Limousin, France

Info from abroad |
11.05.2005 | Read: 8069 | Discussion: 0

The European Commission has decided that, the public co-funding of an open broadband infrastructure in Limousin, France constitutes compensation for the provision of a Service of General Economic Interest and is not state aid. The project has a total budget of €85 million and will be co-financed by EU funds. The scheme will enable telecom operators to provide broadband services to residential users, businesses and public authorities on a transparent and non-discriminatory basis.

EU rules on electronic communications - Commission launches infringement proceedings against ten Member States

Info from abroad |
15.04.2005 | Read: 9086 | Discussion: 1

The Commission has launched legal proceedings against ten EU Member States to remedy infringements of EU rules on electronic communications. It points to defects in national laws, and incorrect practical application of EU rules, in Germany, Italy, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Finland. The opening of these proceedings follows concerns identified in the Commission’s Implementation Reports[1] on the electronic communications sector, the most recent of which was published at the end of 2004.

High-speed internet access via the electricity grid: Commission seeks to create new market opportunities

Info from abroad |
13.04.2005 | Read: 7742 | Discussion: 0

Using electric power supply lines to offer low-cost high speed internet access will be made easier thanks to a Commission recommendation issued today. The recommendation, which is addressed to the Member States, aims to clarify rules on using electric power cables to carry electronic communication data. The Commission thereby intends to boost competition by opening up the market to new suppliers of high-speed “broadband” connections via the electricity grid. Internet access via power lines has so far taken hold in only a few urban areas, but the potential is huge: the EU has 200 million power lines running directly into houses, schools and businesses.

High-speed network connections: Commission recommends leased line price ceilings

Info from abroad |
07.04.2005 | Read: 7600 | Discussion: 1

Prices for wholesale leased lines, which are a key source of broadband services for businesses should reflect the real cost of supplying them, says the European Commission. In a recommendation to Member States today, the Commission reports on “best current practices” in wholesale leased line pricing and provides competitive market benchmark prices for the entire EU, in order to help Member States to devise regulatory remedies for leased line markets that are not effectively competitive on their territory. The EU single market for electronic communication services is distorted by substantial variations in leased line prices (for a 2 Mbit/s line, 5 km long, the price in the most expensive Member State is seven times higher than in the cheapest), which are hard to explain in terms of possible underlying costs.

'Roaming' charges: an obstacle to a Europe-wide mobile phone network

Info from abroad |
23.03.2005 | Read: 7536 | Discussion: 0

Is EU legislation needed to stop exploitation of mobile phone users when 'roaming'? Telecommunications experts discussed the main issues with MEPs at a public hearing held on Wednesday by Parliament's Internal Market and Industry Committees. 'Roaming' means the use of mobile phones on foreign networks to make or receive calls or to transfer data. Among the problems: users may have to pay a large part of the cost of a call received from their home country when they are outside its borders.

Online Government now a reality almost everywhere in the EU, says Commission survey

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15.03.2005 | Read: 8976 | Discussion: 0

Over 90% of public service providers now have an on-line presence, and 40% of basic public services1 are fully interactive, says the European Commission’s fifth annual survey of online government services in Europe. Availability and interactivity measures show that EU’s new Member States are now where the EU 15 ones were just two years ago. The challenge now is to ensure that online government services are used as widely and extensively as possible, so as to deliver the maximum possible efficiency gains for business and citizens (see IP/05/41).

EU regulators favour pro-competitive approach to Internet telephony

Info from abroad |
14.02.2005 | Read: 7640 | Discussion: 0

“Voice over Internet Protocol has the potential to radically change the existing market structure”: this has been stressed today by the European Regulators Group (ERG), which brings together the 25 national regulatory authorities responsible for electronic communication markets. Meeting in Brussels, the ERG adopted a common statement on Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services in order to facilitate the roll out and widespread use of Internet telephony in Europe. The European Commission itself favours an EU-wide “light touch” approach to Internet telephony as the best way to encourage competition between internet carriers of telephone traffic and traditional telephone networks.

Telecommunications in the EU - Around 80 mobile subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in the EU25 in 2003

Info from abroad |
08.02.2005 | Read: 8171 | Discussion: 0

Mobile telephony has experienced enormous growth since 1995. During the period 1995-2003, the number of mobile telephone subscriptions has grown 42% each year on average at EU25 level. In 2003, there were over 364 million subscriptions in the EU25 compared to only 22 million in 1995, meaning there were on average 80 subscriptions to mobile phones per 100 inhabitants in the EU25 in 2003 compared to only 5 in 1995.

Public procurement – Commission sets out Action Plan to move public purchasing in Europe online

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21.01.2005 | Read: 14538 | Discussion: 0

The European Commission has published an Action Plan on electronic public procurement to assist Member States in implementing the new Procurement Directives adopted in 2004. The objective is to enable any business with a PC and an internet connection to bid for public contracts electronically anywhere in the EU, based on clear conditions and procedures and with all the necessary security.

Information Society for all: Commission opens consultation to make ICT products and services more accessible

Info from abroad |
11.01.2005 | Read: 7802 | Discussion: 2

Today, the European Commission has launched a public consultation on how to make the benefits of Information and Communication Technologies available to the widest possible range of citizens, including to older people and people with disabilities. This consultation is a first step in the Commission’s endeavour to remove the technical challenges and difficulties that people with disabilities and others experience when trying to use electronic products or services such as computers, mobile phones or the Internet.

Mergers: Commission clears Slovak Telecom’s acquisition of sole control over EuroTel’s mobile telephony business

Info from abroad |
16.12.2004 | Read: 7565 | Discussion: 0

The European Commission has granted approval under the EU Merger Regulation of the acquisition by incumbent telecommunications operator Slovak Telecom of full ownership of EuroTel Bratislava’s mobile telephony business. As Slovak Telecom is the majority shareholder in the target company and already in the position to determine EuroTel’s competitive behaviour to a considerable extent, the Commission considers that the operation will not significantly impede effective competition.

Commissioner Reding welcomes EU-wide investigation on cost of using a mobile phone abroad

Info from abroad |
15.12.2004 | Read: 8423 | Discussion: 0

Mobile telephone network operators across the EU have been sent today a questionnaire as part of an investigation into wholesale prices for “international roaming”, which result in high charges for people who use their mobile phones in other Member States. This initiative, supported by the Commission, was announced today by the European Regulators Group (ERG), which brings together national regulatory authorities responsible for electronic communication markets.

10th Report - EU electronic communications markets: outlook good, but more progress needed on regulatory reform

Info from abroad |
07.12.2004 | Read: 7881 | Discussion: 3

The EU electronic communications sector is showing signs of intensifying competition and strong growth in some segments. Progress in implementing the regulatory package has been good, but more work is needed if Europe is to reap the benefits of a fully competitive sector, says the European Commission’s latest report on the implementation of the EU electronic communications regulatory package, adopted today. This report, which for the first time covers 25 Member States, highlights the strong expansion of mobile and broadband communications. Despite progress on reform, the Commission is concerned that delays and ineffective application in some Member States could hinder competition, innovation and investment.

2010 Challenges - Challenges for Europe’s Information Society beyond 2005: starting point for a new EU strategy

Info from abroad |
19.11.2004 | Read: 7497 | Discussion: 0

The European Commission’s view of the challenges that a European Information Society strategy up to 2010 needs to address are set out in a Commission communication adopted today. This communication highlights the need to step up research and investment in information and communication technologies (ICT), and to promote their take-up throughout the economy. ICT should be more closely tailored to citizens’ needs and expectations, to enable them to participate more readily in socially fulfilling and culturally creative virtual communities. The challenges include electronic inclusion and citizenship, content and services, public services, skills and work, ICT as a key industry sector, interoperability of ICT networks and applications, trust and dependability and ICT for business processes. This communication is the starting point of a reflection process that will lead to the adoption of a new strategy during 2005.

Commission disagrees with Austrian regulator on transit services in the fixed public telephone network

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28.10.2004 | Read: 7884 | Discussion: 1

The European Commission has adopted a decision challenging the conclusions of the Austrian regulator, TKK (Telekom-Control-Kommission), to cease regulating wholesale transit services. In particular the Commission did not agree with the proposed market definition.

Telephone bills: data privacy need not preclude individual billing of calls, says European Court of Justice

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22.10.2004 | Read: 7996 | Discussion: 0

European Court of Justice strengthens Consumers´ rights in two rulings EU data privacy rules need not prevent telephone operators from providing telephone bills that list individual calls, and there need not be any extra charge for this service, said the European Court of Justice in a judgment given on 14 September. The Court upheld the European Commission’s case that Austria had failed to ensure that bills for using the fixed public telephone network were itemized in sufficient detail to allow users to check individual calls. Standard itemized bills could provide a higher level of detail, at no extra cost to subscribers, it noted. The Court rejected Austria’s argument that because the itemized billing provisions of Directive 98/10/EC are subject to data privacy protection, no additional levels of detail could be offered to subscribers at reasonable tariffs. Finally, the Court found that Austria had failed to provide detailed arguments supporting its assertion that bills more detailed than those currently required in Austria would infringe data protection legislation.

European Commission signs contract with the .eu Registry

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14.10.2004 | Read: 9804 | Discussion: 0

The contract between the European Commission and EURid was signed on 12 October, enabling EURid - a consortium of Belgian, Italian and Swedish organizations - to set the .eu mechanism in motion and permit the registration of .eu domain names as soon as possible.

Communication from the Commission on Preventing and Combating Corporate and Financial Malpractice

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11.10.2004 | Read: 7800 | Discussion: 0

Recently, a number of scandals have caused uncertainty in capital markets, damaging the overall economy. In one year Enron shareholders lost around US-dollar 67 billion leaving employees and former employees with meagre retirements1. The market capitalisation of Parmalat depreciated by more than 90% in only three months. Enron, Parmalat and no doubt other companies used and will continue to use complex and opaque structures, including subsidiaries in offshore financial centres (OFC), Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) and complex financial transactions, often with the complicity of third parties, to reduce the transparency of their activities to investors. The risk of such practices must be reduced.

Hearing of Mrs. Viviane Reding, Commissioner designate for Information Society and Media

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06.10.2004 | Read: 12480 | Discussion: 1

I stand before you today as the Commissioner Designate for Information Society, Audiovisual Policy and the Media Economy - in other words, as the Commissioner for innovation, inclusion and creativity. These three concepts are interdependent and enrich one another, which is why this new portfolio has been created. It combines the economic dynamism of rapidly expanding sectors, with the potential to create many new jobs, and improves the quality of life of citizens. It also gives a new impetus to creativity and cultural diversity.

European Commission announces 20 European Information Society Technology Prize winners

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22.09.2004 | Read: 10798 | Discussion: 0

Twenty winners of the European Information Society Technologies (IST) Prize 2004 were selected by the European Commission on 17 September 2004. The winners will each receive € 5,000 and will be invited to exhibit their products in the European IST Prize Winners Village at the 2004 IST Event in The Hague from 15-17 November. The IST Prize is Europe’s most distinguished award for groundbreaking IST products. It is organised by Euro-CASE with the support and sponsorship of the IST Programme of the European Commission.

Commission grants 52 million euro to boost use of GRID – tomorrow’s

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17.09.2004 | Read: 7897 | Discussion: 0

A Euro 52 million package of twelve EU-funded research projects, that together aim to bring “Grid” networked computing out of research labs and into industry, has just been launched by the European Commission. By giving everyone access to the immense computing power and knowledge hitherto available only to the biggest corporations and laboratories, Grid tools will boost business competitiveness and help create new markets and services. Users of Grids are able to monitor and model everything from climate change to how cars behave in collisions. An improved understanding of such behaviours ultimately helps those responsible to take the necessary steps to improve people’s quality of life.

Public procurement: Commission consults on how Europe can make the most of electronic procurement

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14.09.2004 | Read: 7671 | Discussion: 0

The European Commission has launched an on-line consultation aimed at identifying opportunities and challenges in electronic public procurement. This is part of the process of drawing up an Action Plan to help make sure Europe’s economy gets the maximum possible benefit from the implementation of the new provisions on electronic public procurement included in the legislative package of procurement Directives adopted in February 2004.

FCC takes step toward VOIP wiretapping regulations

Info from abroad | Grant Gross, IDG News Service
18.08.2004 | Read: 8409 | Discussion: 1

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Wednesday took the first step toward requiring voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) providers to comply with law enforcement wiretapping requests.

President-designate Barroso unveils his team, Viviane Reding nominated as Commissioner for Information Society and Media

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16.08.2004 | Read: 8147 | Discussion: 0

Today, José Manuel Barroso, President-designate of the European Commission, announced the policy portfolios he has allocated to each member of his team. The decisions follow detailed consultations with each nominee Commissioner and aim to build a strong team-spirit. The new Commission is solid and politically experienced. It brings together people from across the political spectrum and contains more women than ever before. All Commissioners will have strictly equal powers as Members of the College. Mr Barroso has introduced certain organisational adjustments with the express purpose of achieving key political priorities.

First review of markets in new regulatory framework for electronic communication planned for the end of 2005

Info from abroad |
08.07.2004 | Read: 7658 | Discussion: 0

The Commission will maintain - until the end of 2005 - the present list of electronic communications markets that national regulatory authorities can subject to so-called “ex ante” regulation. The list is contained in a Commission Recommendation on relevant markets and services, which was adopted on 11 February 2003 (the “Recommendation”) (see IP/03/221). Updating the Recommendation at the end of 2005, rather than in June 2004, will provide a period of stability and legal certainty for market players and will lead to a more meaningful assessment of the relevant markets.

Mobile broadband services: Commission tables blueprint for anytime, anywhere access, to boost growth in business and public services

Info from abroad |
02.07.2004 | Read: 10442 | Discussion: 0

Accessing everything you need at head office from a computer in the field is fast becoming vital to the efficiency of both private enterprise and public services. A policy blueprint to ensure that data can be accessed anytime, anywhere across the EU, and that the EU retains its lead in this area, is set out in “Mobile broadband services”, a Commission Communication issued today. The challenges ahead include ensuring that services can be supplied seamlessly to a variety of devices, making the technologies and networks that carry them interoperable, and providing adequate intellectual property protection for services with high value-added content. These challenges call for targeted R&D, both on basic research and to accelerate technical innovation.

Enterprises Must Secure Europe's Wireless Explosion

Info from abroad |
02.07.2004 | Read: 12992 | Discussion: 1

Research into the development of wireless networking in four of Europe’s main financial centres has exposed a series of alarming loopholes that is leaving many businesses open to crippling data security breaches. Approximately 34% of businesses are making fundamental security mistakes resulting in unprotected wireless traffic.

European social partners in the telecom sector sign 'Guidelines on customers contact centres'

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28.06.2004 | Read: 8263 | Discussion: 0

On June 15, European social partners in the telecom sector signed guidelines for the telecom companies and unions, which employ people in customer contact centres (call centres). The guidelines confirm the commitment of the telecom employers to maintaining and encouraging excellent employment conditions in the centres. This includes training, health and safety, discussions on strategy, work organisation and diversity. The guidelines also illustrate the social partners' joint commitment to providing first class service to their customers wherever they are located.

Connecting Europe at high speed: Commission takes stock of national broadband strategies

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12.05.2004 | Read: 9422 | Discussion: 0

The number of people and businesses accessing the Internet at high speed has grown by more than 80% in the year to January 2004, says a new European Commission report. Broadband take-up is now faster in the EU than in the US with several Member States among the best performers around the globe. The EU15 Member States all have national broadband strategies in place and the new Member States will table theirs before the end of 2004. All Member States agree that progress should be market driven. Growth has been fastest in those countries where competition particularly from alternative networks has allowed a choice of providers and driven down prices. However, there remains a role for public authorities whenever markets do not deliver the necessary investment. National broadband strategies therefore aim at increasing coverage of under-served areas and steps to stimulate demand. The Report concludes that national approaches must be kept under review and updated during 2005, both to take account of new ways of delivering high speed access and to learn from good practice in other countries.

One step closer to ".eu"

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05.05.2004 | Read: 7823 | Discussion: 2

The Commission Regulation laying down public policy rules concerning the implementation and functions of the .eu Top Level Domain has been published in the EU Official Journal. The .eu domain is intended to provide a European Internet identity for companies and citizens, comparable to .org or .com. This regulation is a further step towards the commercial availability of ".eu" names. It sets out public policy rules for a wide range of issues including eligibility, requests for domain name registration, accreditation of registrars, provisions for languages, reservation of geographical and geopolitical names, registration of names corresponding to prior rights, and a dispute resolution procedure.

Ján Figel's website launched

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04.05.2004 | Read: 7987 | Discussion: 0

You can now visit the website of the new Commissioner-designate for Enterprise and Information Society, Mr Ján Figel' in English and Slovak. This website will keep you informed about his activities as Member of the European Commission and you'll find information on his profile, diary of institutional commitments, speeches, as well as information and the latest news on his portfolio. The site also provides information on Mr. Figel's Cabinet.

Commission welcomes agreement among European regulators on competition remedies to be used in the field of electronic communications

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29.04.2004 | Read: 8186 | Discussion: 1

The European Regulators Group (ERG), which brings together the national authorities responsible for electronic communication markets, today published a "Common Position" on how they apply remedies to address competition problems in the newly opened markets for electronic communications. The EU regulatory framework sets out a 'menu' of remedies that National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) can apply to address specific problems that may arise in markets where there is one or more operators with significant market power. The 'menu' includes obligations to provide access, non-discrimination, transparency, cost accounting and price control.

The role of universities in building a Europe of knowledge

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28.04.2004 | Read: 9759 | Discussion: 0

Today European Research Commissioner Philippe Busquin welcomed more than 1000 participants from Europe and beyond to a conference on "The Europe of Knowledge 2020: A vision for university-based research and innovation", in Liège (Belgium). Participants include Ministers, National and European Parliament Members, heads of universities, top-level scientists and industry leaders. The aim of the event, that will run to April 28, is to define the role of universities and prepare a European vision for university-based research and innovation for the next 15-20 years. The Commission will also present a study on the "Financing of University-based Research and Innovation". As competitiveness and mobility top the political agenda, there is a clear need to support and foster the contribution of universities in helping Europe meet the objectives set out by the March 2000 Lisbon European Council to turn Europe into the most dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010. The conference will not only help delegates to fully understand the European dimension of the challenges faced by universities in research, but it will also stimulate further debate on the Commission's Communication on "The role of universities in the Europe of Knowledge".

Six Member States face Court action for failing to put in place new rules on electronic communications

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22.04.2004 | Read: 10760 | Discussion: 0

After nine months of delay and two warnings, the Commission has decided on 21 April to take six Member States - Belgium, Germany, Greece, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands - to the European Court of Justice for failing to implement fully new rules on electronics communications. At the same time progress is being made; since the Commission's first warning last autumn, Spain and Portugal have adopted the necessary national measures and so they are not included in today's decisions. The Netherlands voted its new legislation yesterday and France may finalise its national measures in the very near future. Account will be taken of such progress, but this step sends a clear signal to all Member States: businesses and citizens in their countries cannot afford further delay in these important reforms.

Regulating for Competitiveness and Growth The regulators experience

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21.04.2004 | Read: 9347 | Discussion: 0

Speech of Mr Erkki Liikanen, Member of the European Commission, responsible for Enterprise and the Information Society - "Regulating for Competitiveness and Growth The regulators experience". Irish Business and Employers Confederation EU Presidency Conference, Dublin, 19 April 2004.

Telefonica was imposed by competition court of a fine of 57 million euros

Info from abroad | TA SR
07.04.2004 | Read: 127830 | Discussion: 46217

Španielsky telekomunikačný operátor Telefonica podľa rozhodnutia Španielského súťažného súdu zneužil dominantné postavenie na trhu a porušil tým zákon o ochrane hospodárskej súťaže, ako aj článok 82 zmluvy o Európskych spoločenstvách. Súd uložil spoločnosti pokutu 57 miliónov eur. Spoločnosť dlhodobo vyšetrovali po sťažnosti Asociácie telekomunikačných spoločností (Astel) v súvislosti s postavením a obmedzovaním prístupu na telekomunikačný trh. Je to najvyššia pokuta, akú v histórii daný súd udelil. Telefonica sa proti rozhodnutiu hodlá odvolať.

IP Voice and Associated Convergent Services

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16.03.2004 | Read: 7943 | Discussion: 0

This document is the final report on a study by Analysys on Internet Protocol (IP) voice and associated convergent services for DG Infosoc, European Commission (EC).

eEurope+ Progress Report

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27.02.2004 | Read: 8072 | Discussion: 0

Ambície Európskej únie, nových členských štátov a kandidátskych krajín týkajúce sa informačnej spoločnosti sú rozhodujúce pre ďalší rozvoj ekonomickej integrácie, sociálnej kohézie a kultúrnej rozmanitosti v Európe. Európska ministerská konferencia o informačnej spoločnosti "Nové možnosti rastu v rozšírenej Európe" poskytla jedinečnú možnosť na diskusiu o realizácii týchto ambícií vytýčených v akčnom pláne eEurope 2005. Pri tejto príležitosti bola vydaná záverečná správa o pokroku v programe eEurope+.

4th Report on Monitoring of EU Candidate Countries (Telecommunication Services Sector)

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26.01.2004 | Read: 7751 | Discussion: 0

With regard to its task to assist in the creation of an open and competitive internal market for telecommunication services in the Member States, the European Commission (EC) has been preparing regular reports monitoring the implementation of the European Union (EU) regulatory framework since 1997. The last (9th) report was released in November 2003.

9th Report on the Implementation of the Telecommunications Regulatory Package

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27.11.2003 | Read: 7680 | Discussion: 0

In its final report on the implementation of the 1998 regulatory framework, and subsequently in its Communication ‘Electronic Communications: the Road to the Knowledge Economy’, the Commission stressed the importance of a full, effective and timely transition to the new EU framework for electronic communications networks and services adopted by the Parliament and Council in March 2002. This position has been strongly endorsed by the European Parliament.

Eighth Report from the Commision on the Implementation of the Telecommunications Regulatory Package

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04.08.2003 | Read: 7881 | Discussion: 0

Following liberalisation in 1998, competition in European telecommunications markets has driven growth and innovation and the widespread availability of services to the public. Between 1999 and 2001 the value of telecoms services in Europe rose 24% from € 182 billion in 1999 to € 225 billion in 2001. The mobile sector alone grew by 32% in 2000 and 21% in 2001 in terms of revenue, while the average mobile penetration rate in Europe is now 75%, from 70% in 2001 1 . At the same time consumers have a wider choice of operators, with new entrants driving prices downwards. Incumbents’ tariffs for national calls have been reduced by around 50% on average since liberalisation, and those for international calls by around 40%. New entrants in many Member States now offer discounts over incumbent prices even for local calls.

3rd Report on Monitoring of EU Candidate Countries (Telecommunication Services Sector)

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04.08.2003 | Read: 8408 | Discussion: 0

With regard to its task to assist in the creation of an open and competitive internal market for telecommunication services in the Member States, the European Commission (EC) has been preparing regular reports monitoring the implementation of the European Union (EU) regulatory framework since 1997. The last (8 th ) reported was released in December 2002. The reports examine major developments in the market, analyse the implementation of the key regulatory principles covered by the regulatory framework and draw conclusions intended to contribute to ensuring compliance with the European regulatory framework.