Reforming e-Communications Services: A Critical Assessment

16-01-2017

This report analyses the proposed reform of the e-communications regulatory framework presented by the European Commission in September 2016. While many of the proposed changes appear meaningful, the report argues that overall the proposal does not entirely reflect the lessons learned from the past two decades of e-communications regulation in Europe, and ends up being at once too conservative (i.e. incremental with respect to legacy rules); fragile, since its effectiveness crucially depends on governance reform; and “retro”, since it does not incorporate principles of flexible, adaptive regulation in its overarching framework. The report argues that the merits of a lighter, ex post approach to e-communications were not sufficiently gauged by the European Commission in its impact assessment. The report was prepared at the request of Policy Department A and the IMCO Committee.

This report analyses the proposed reform of the e-communications regulatory framework presented by the European Commission in September 2016. While many of the proposed changes appear meaningful, the report argues that overall the proposal does not entirely reflect the lessons learned from the past two decades of e-communications regulation in Europe, and ends up being at once too conservative (i.e. incremental with respect to legacy rules); fragile, since its effectiveness crucially depends on governance reform; and “retro”, since it does not incorporate principles of flexible, adaptive regulation in its overarching framework. The report argues that the merits of a lighter, ex post approach to e-communications were not sufficiently gauged by the European Commission in its impact assessment. The report was prepared at the request of Policy Department A and the IMCO Committee.