Thursday, 14 January 2010

Colin's Telecoms regulatory look-out list for 2010

Happy New Year!
These are some of the key events and initiatives I suggest to look out for in 2010:

(Subject to some potential policy reversals in the event of a change of power at the forthcoming UK Parliamentary election!):
  • Introduction of the new Landline Duty legislation to support the Next Generation Fund (NGF): see my next Post
  • Government's conclusions to be reached on make-up of NGF; introduction of NGF: see my next Post
  • The proposed Government Direction to Ofcom to implement the Wireless Radio Spectrum Modernisation Programme (WRSMP): the Government has just suffered the embarrassment of having to issue a supplementary document to its October 2009 consultation, clarifying the proposals and views sought. Now it appears from press reports that BT, who may themselves be interested in acquiring new 2.6GHz mobile broadband spectrum at auction, are threatening judicial review of the proposals, particularly the proposal to extend indefinitely the duration of the incumbent mobile operators licences. Issue of the official Direction will doubtless be delayed as a result.
  • Further word from Government (BIS) and/or Ofcom regarding the proposed combined 2.6GHz and 800 MHz auction (part of the WRSMP), though because of the above delays it is looking increasingly likely that this auction will not take place in 2010 as originally hoped.


  • Launch of the new EU Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC), the successor to the European Regulators Group, to "serve as a body for reflection, debate and advice for the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission in the electronic communications field": Regulation (EC) no.1211/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council, November 25, 2009
  • Issue of the European Commission's Recommendation on Next Generation Access, following its review and a second consultation round in 2009: last year's draft version was not received with universal acclaim, so it will be interesting to see what changes are made by the Commission in the final form.
  • In 2010 the Commission is also expected to publish its proposals on the scope and funding of universal service obligations.

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