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Commission reviews transposal of telecommunications liberalization Directive in the Member States

In the field of the liberalization of telecommunications services, the European Commission has produced a communication reviewing the transposal of Directive 90/388/EEC by the Member States.

The Directive has been central to the liberalization of telecommunications in the Eur...
In the field of the liberalization of telecommunications services, the European Commission has produced a communication reviewing the transposal of Directive 90/388/EEC by the Member States.

The Directive has been central to the liberalization of telecommunications in the European Union and aims to achieve the liberalization of all telecommunications services and infrastructures by 1988. The proposals in this field are to be put forward by 1 January 1996.

The Commission communication comprises:

- A report on the implementation of the Directive by the Member States;
- A presentation of the basic questions arising as regards application and interpretation;
- A presentation of the role which the Directive is designed to play in the group of reforms which are to be achieved by 1998.

The timetable was laid down in two Council Resolutions of July 1993 and November 1994, namely 1 January 1998 for the liberalization of public voice telephony services and telecommunications infrastructures. There is a five-year extension (i.e. to 2003) for Member States whose network is less developed, and a two-year extension for very small networks.

The report addresses the main features of the Directive:

- Definition of voice telephony services where exclusive rights can be maintained;
- Maintenance of the other exclusive rights;
- Transparency and openness of authorization procedures;
- Requisite conditions for the simple resale of leased data-communications capacity;
- Conditions for open access to public networks (reasonable timescale);
- Justification of restrictions on data processing;
- Effective establishment of an independent regulatory authority.

The main questions of application and interpretation are:

- Definition of voice telephony;
- Enforcement of the voice telephony monopoly in a liberalized environment;
- Corporate networks and closed user groups;
- Data services for the public;
- Separation of the operating and regulatory functions.

In the field of the future evolution of services, the following were to be liberalized:

- Satellite services (this has been done);
- Mobile telephony and paging services (in progress);
- Public voice telephony (1998).

In addition, the principle of the liberalization of infrastructures has been decided by the Council.

On 21 December 1994 the Commission adopted at first reading a proposal for a Directive concerning the liberalization of the use of cable networks for the supply of previously liberalized services. The regulatory framework which has to be adopted by 1 January 1996 requires that this Directive, the Harmonization (ONP) Directives and the proposals relating to the universal service and interconnection be amended.
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