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Commission opens cable TV networks to liberalized telecommunications services

On the initiative of Commissioners Van Miert and Bangemann, the Commission adopted, on 22 December 1994, a proposal for a Directive on public consultation which will lift restrictions on the use of cable TV networks for the carriage of all liberalized telecommunications servic...
On the initiative of Commissioners Van Miert and Bangemann, the Commission adopted, on 22 December 1994, a proposal for a Directive on public consultation which will lift restrictions on the use of cable TV networks for the carriage of all liberalized telecommunications services. The proposal represents a modification of the Article 90 of the Directive liberalizing those services (90/388/EEC). It will allow new multimedia telecommunications services to be carried on cable networks throughout the European Union by 1 January 1996. During 1995, the Commission will be presenting the Directive to the Member States and the European Parliament and consulting with other interested parties on the draft Directive before formally adopting a decision.

Liberalizing access to cable infrastructure should permit a lowering of costs and a significant increase in the amount of capacity available for new services. Alongside this it encourages use of state-of-the-art technology and represents an important contribution to the development of the information society.

In the area of multimedia services the main goal of the Commission is to lift restrictions in order to foster pilot projects and new initiatives in the multi-media field. This area was highlighted in the White Paper on Growth, Competitiveness and Employment as of fundamental importance in realizing the information society. Examples of such new services include:

- Home shopping;
- Home transaction packages (banking, reservations, buying, trading);
- "Edu-tainment" (interactive video games which entertain and educate);
- Specialized interactive on-line databases (for example for the medical or dentistry professions, which involve detailed and/or moving images).

Like the satellite Directive adopted in October, the cable Directive involves an amendment to the 1990 telecommunications services Directive. The amendment allows service providers the choice of offering their services over cable TV networks. This does not affect the Member States' rights to maintain monopolies in provision voice telephony until 1998 as the Directive only concerns the provision of non-reserved services.
DE
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