Electronic communications: Universal Service Directive
Produced in partnership with David Stewart of Towerhouse LLP

The following TMT practice note produced in partnership with David Stewart of Towerhouse LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Electronic communications: Universal Service Directive
  • Brexit
  • The Universal Service Directive
  • Scope and aim
  • The universal services
  • Implementation of universal service
  • The USO
  • Funding the USO
  • Reviewing universal service
  • End-user interests and rights
  • More...

Electronic communications: Universal Service Directive

This Practice Note relates to Directive 2002/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 March 2002 on universal service and users' rights relating to electronic communications networks and services as amended by Directive 2009/136/EC (Universal Service Directive). It is part of a series of Practice Notes on core elements of the EU regulatory framework for electronic communications.

In the EU, the provision of electronic communications networks and services in each Member State is governed by a common regulatory framework which originally comprised five directives (the Framework).

The objective of the Framework was to establish a harmonised framework for the regulation of electronic communications networks and services throughout the EU.

In December 2018, Directive (EU) 2018/1972 establishing the European Electronic Communications Code (Recast) (the European Electronic Communications Code) was published in the Official Journal of the EU and came into force three days after publication. The European Electronic Communications Code consolidates four of the directives (including the Universal Service Directive) which make up the Framework, with the objective of driving investment in new high capacity networks, primarily 5G and new fibre networks. Member States have until 21 December 2020 to implement it into national law.

The Framework identified specific policy objectives and measures that Member States had to adopt in order to achieve those objectives. These objectives include ensuring that networks are

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