Telecoms and media—European Union—Q&A guide
Telecoms and media—European Union—Q&A guide

The following TMT practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Telecoms and media—European Union—Q&A guide
  • 1. Summarise the regulatory framework for the communications sector. Do any foreign ownership restrictions apply to communications services?
  • 2. Describe the authorisation or licensing regime.
  • 3. Do spectrum licences generally specify the permitted use or is permitted use (fully or partly) unrestricted? Is licensed spectrum tradable or assignable?
  • 4. Which communications markets and segments are subject to ex-ante regulation? What remedies may be imposed?
  • 5. Is there a legal basis for requiring structural or functional separation between an operator’s network and service activities? Has structural or functional separation been introduced or is it being contemplated?
  • 6. Outline any universal service obligations. How is provision of these services financed?
  • 7. Describe the number allocation scheme and number portability regime in your jurisdiction.
  • 8. Are customer terms and conditions in the communications sector subject to specific rules?
  • 9. Are there limits on an internet service provider’s freedom to control or prioritise the type or source of data that it delivers? Are there any other specific regulations or guidelines on net neutrality?
  • More...

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to telecoms and media in European Union published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: March 2020).

Authors: Simmons & Simmons LLP—Anne Baudequin; Christopher Götz; Martin Gramsch

1. Summarise the regulatory framework for the communications sector. Do any foreign ownership restrictions apply to communications services?

Background

In the European Union (EU), the progressive yet quick liberalisation of electronic communications services paved the way for the creation of a single electronic communications market. The liberalisation process, which began in the 1980s, finally led to a full opening of the electronic communications sector on 1 January 1998. Since that date, the never-ending evolution of the electronic communications market, reshaped notably by the convergence of the electronic communications, broadcasting and IT sectors, has required several reforms of the EU electronic communications framework. The new EU electronic communications frameworks generally come in 'packages' of directives. The first Telecom Package was adopted in 2002. It was then amended in 2009 and 2015.

Electronic communications regulatory framework

The current EU electronic communications framework includes the following texts:

  1. the Framework Directive (2002/21/EC), as amended by the Better Regulation Directive (2009/140), which, inter alia, provides for the general structure of the EU regulatory framework for electronic communications, sets out the powers of the national regulatory authorities (NRAs) and describes the procedures for

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