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Public wants transparent, clear and proportional regulations for multimedia

Regulations for multimedia need to be transparent, clear and proportional and distinguish between transport and content, according to the public.

The European Commission has adopted a Communication, reporting on the results of the public consultation on the Green Paper on the...
Regulations for multimedia need to be transparent, clear and proportional and distinguish between transport and content, according to the public.

The European Commission has adopted a Communication, reporting on the results of the public consultation on the Green Paper on the convergence of the telecommunications, media and information technology sector.

The Green Paper, published in December 1997 on the initiative of Commissioners Martin Bangemann and Marcelino Oreja, drew attention to the significant implications of the convergence phenomenon in terms of economic development, job creation, cultural identities and social impact. Developing an appropriate regulatory framework for the sectors concerned is therefore of the utmost importance.

The public consultation was carried out in two stages. During the first stage, which was carried out until May 1998, more than 270 written responses were received from Member States. The second stage involved questions on what the Commission perceived as three key areas:

- Access to network and gateway facilities;
- Investment, innovation and content production;
- Balancing regulation between public interest and competition considerations.

The public demand for regulation to be transparent, clear and proportional implies a more horizontal approach to regulation with a homogenous treatment of all transport network infrastructure and associated services, irrespective of the nature of the services carried.

The outcome of the consultation also concerned the nature of the public service broadcasting.

The Commission intends to draw on this process to develop proposals for the following actions:

- Reforms in the regulation of infrastructure and associated services will be proposed as part of the 1999 Communications Regulatory Review;
- Content services will be covered either by adjustments to existing legislation, or by the introduction of new measures.
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