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Directive on adaptation of telecoms to competitive environment

A European Directive (97/51/EC), adopted on 6 October 1997, represents a crucial part of the preparations for a liberalized telecommunications environment in Europe, as from 1 January 1998. The Directive aims to ensure transparency and fairness in the new environment, as well ...
A European Directive (97/51/EC), adopted on 6 October 1997, represents a crucial part of the preparations for a liberalized telecommunications environment in Europe, as from 1 January 1998. The Directive aims to ensure transparency and fairness in the new environment, as well as protecting consumers.

The new Directive amends two existing Directives (90/387/EEC and 92/44/EEC) which concern the implementation of open network provision (ONP), and the application of ONP to leased lines, respectively. The amendments aim to ensure that, within the requirements for ONP, all users have access to a minimum standard of service (Universal service obligations), and that new operators are not prevented from entering the market by unfair conditions and charges set by existing operators, in particular in respect of interconnection.

The amended Directive is required to be transposed into Member States' laws by the end of 1997, prior to the establishment of the open market in telecommunications from 1 January 1998. A number of Member States have, however, been granted short extensions to this deadline, due to prevailing conditions in their telecommunications markets.
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