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Issues associated with creation of a European telecoms regulatory authority

The European Commission, ISPO, has published a study on issues associated with the creation of a European regulatory authority for telecommunications, conducted by independent consultants on behalf of the Commission.

The study is based on the results of a survey of a range of...
The European Commission, ISPO, has published a study on issues associated with the creation of a European regulatory authority for telecommunications, conducted by independent consultants on behalf of the Commission.

The study is based on the results of a survey of a range of regulators and market actors in the telecoms sector. It is designed to make a contribution to the Commission's on-going reflections on the appropriate regulatory framework for a competitive telecoms market in Europe.

The study's findings suggest that:

- There is a measure of support amongst users and market players for greater regulatory involvement at European level in a number of key areas related, in particular, to the day to day management of pan-European networks and services;
- An authority was not felt to be necessary in areas where existing mechanisms had a proven track record, for example, competition policy or standardization;
- Support for a regulatory authority at European level is likely to grow if real problems are encountered after 1998 by companies trying to operate throughout the EU;
- It is legally possible under the current Treaty to create a regulatory authority, providing that the role of such a body was clearly defined and did not involve a policy-making function, an implementation role or a binding dispute resolution role;
- In the short to medium-term it is likely that the regulatory framework will continue to develop at a number of levels (i.e. national - EU - CEPT), rather than developing through a single authority at EU level.
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