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Directive on the application of open network provision to voice telephony

A Directive (98/10/EC) on the application of open network provision (ONP) to voice telephony and on universal services for telecommunications in a competitive environment has recently been published in the Official Journal. This new Directive replaces an existing Directive (95...
A Directive (98/10/EC) on the application of open network provision (ONP) to voice telephony and on universal services for telecommunications in a competitive environment has recently been published in the Official Journal. This new Directive replaces an existing Directive (95/62/EC) on ONP, bringing its provisions into line with the requirements of the liberalized market, and provides for a basic telephone service accessible to all (universal service).

The Directive aims to ensure the availability of good quality fixed telephone services throughout the EU. It also aims to define the set of services to which all users, including consumers, should have access at an affordable price, in particular for users in rural or high-cost areas and for vulnerable groups of users. The services covered include provision of network connections and access to telephone services, directory and directory enquiry services, and public pay telephones.

The Directive also lays down specific provisions for organizations who provide fixed and/or mobile public telephone networks and/or publicly available telephone services. The Directive regulates aspects such as the quality of service, tariff principles, conditions of access, as well as requiring additional facilities, such as itemized billing, to be made available.

The Commission will be assisted in the implementation of measures under this Directive by an advisory committee (ONP Committee). This Committee will consult with all interested parties and will deliver opinions on the Commission's drafts of measures to be taken.

Source: Official Journal of the European Communities

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