Vice-President Kroes Welcomes New Cabinet Member
European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes welcomes a new Cabinet Member from September onwards, as Ms Caroline Wooning will join her team.
Ms Wooning is currently Economic Affairs Counsellor at the Permanent Representation of The Netherlands to the EU, where she is responsible for competitiveness, internal market, consumer affairs, public tender, and state aid.
Ms Wooning her portfolio will cover:
- Converging Media & Content (DG CONNECT’s Unit G.1);
- Net neutrality & Universal Service (Part of DG CONNECT’s Unit B.2);
- the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) & relations with NRAs;
- Broadband Policy (Incl. cost reduction & structural funds) (Part of DG CONNECT’s Units B.1 & B.5); and,
ITU Council Moves Forward on Transparency
On Friday the 13th of July the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) issued a press release announcing its decision during its 2012 session of the Council in Geneva to make public the main preparatory document, also known as TD64, to the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12) convened in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from the 3rd to the 14th of December.
Next to this, the ITU Council also decided to put up a page on the WCIT-12 section of the ITU website allowing all stakeholders to express their opinions on this document and other WCIT-12 related matters.
ETNO Executive Board Chair met ITU Secretary General
Luigi Gambardella, the European Telecommunications Network Operators (ETNO) association’s Executive Board Chair, met with Dr Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of the ITU, on Thursday the 12th of July.
Gambardella considers that “WCIT is an opportunity to address the need for a new eco-system for the Internet enabling operators and service providers to meet the huge challenges driven by rapid data increase and allowing users to continue enjoying the benefits and opportunities brought about by the Internet”.
In light of the revision of the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) at the WCIT-12 conference ETNO keeps reiterating its believe that “by allowing commercial agreements between undertakings on end to end quality of service delivery (…) innovation and improved user experience would be encouraged”.
Vice-President Kroes’ speech on the Broadband Investment Environment
European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes gave a statement on enhancing the broadband investment environment at the Commission’s Midday Briefing on Thursday the 12th of July.
Vice-President Kroes presented the outlines of a package she intends to present by the end of 2012, after she has presented it to her colleagues in the College in the autumn, and which should bring durable regulatory guidance until at least 2020, as Kroes wants to send a signal that “the telecoms sector has a strong and stable future”.
The three main elements of this proposal will be:
- tougher non-discrimination rules;
- stable copper prices (no price cuts on average); and,
- more flexibility for ‘next generation’ wholesale products.
Vice-President Kroes will let the following general principles guide her:
- Competition needs a level playing field;
- Too much intervention constrains flexibility;
- We should be aware of both direct and indirect effects of regulation;
- We should be wary of picking winners;
- Regulated wholesale access prices should get the “buy or build” signals right;
- Regulatory stability and consistency over time is a value in itself; and,
- The question whether a rise or fall of copper prices would spur NGA investment is complex.
Next steps, are first, a recommendation on non-discrimination, second, a separate recommendation on cost methodology for regulated wholesale prices for network access, and third the Commission intends to impose obligations where they are most useful for alternative operators, and least burdensome to incumbents’ normal commercial activities.
Citizen Lab Uncovers ‘Routing Gone Wild’
Researchers from Citizen Lab, an interdisciplinary laboratory based at the Munk School of Global Affairs, at the University of Toronto, have established that “web filtering applied by India-based ISPs is restricting access to content for customers of an ISP in Oman”. This finding implies that there’s ‘upstream filtering’, or the fact that “content filtering undertaken in one political jurisdiction can have an effect on users in another political jurisdiction as a result of ISP routing arrangements”.
More background is also available at Ars Technica.