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Draft Directive on abolition of restrictions on use of cable television networks for the provision of telecommunications services

The European Commission has published a draft Directive amending Commission Directive (90/388/EEC) regarding the abolition of the restrictions on the use of cable television networks for the provision of telecommunications services.

Under Directive 90/388/EEC, telecommunicati...
The European Commission has published a draft Directive amending Commission Directive (90/388/EEC) regarding the abolition of the restrictions on the use of cable television networks for the provision of telecommunications services.

Under Directive 90/388/EEC, telecommunications services other than voice telephony were opened to competition and Member States were requested to take the measures necessary to ensure that any qualified operator could enter the market.

The present Directive amends the original Directive with respect to the inclusion of a definition of "cable TV networks", which is specified to mean any wire-based infrastructure authorized by a Member State for the delivery of radio and television broadcasting and which is available or adaptable for telecommunications purposes.

The amended Directive specifies two additional responsibilities for Member States, namely:

- Withdraw all restrictions for the supply of transmission capacity on cable TV networks and allow operators to use the cable networks to deliver their services;
- Ensure that interconnection of cable TV networks with the public telecommunication network is authorized for such purpose, in particular interconnection with leased lines, and that the restrictions on direct interconnection of cable TV networks are abolished.

Under the terms of the Directive, Member States are required to take the necessary measures to ensure transparency and non-discriminatory behaviour where a single operator provides both telecommunications and cable TV networks.

The amended Directive further stipulates that where cable networks are used for telecommunications purposes, Member States will ensure that these cable TV operators keep separate financial accounts regarding their activity as network capacity providers for telecommunications purposes.
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