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Third report on the implementation of the EU telecommunications regulatory package

The European Commission has issued its latest report on the implementation of the EU telecommunications regulatory package in the Member States. The report also takes an in-depth look at whether legislation is being applied effectively and to what extent national markets are a...
The European Commission has issued its latest report on the implementation of the EU telecommunications regulatory package in the Member States. The report also takes an in-depth look at whether legislation is being applied effectively and to what extent national markets are actually open to competition.

The Commission's conclusion is that most of the legislative framework is in place and being applied, under the supervision of the national regulatory authorities. These national measures also appear to be producing their intended effects in practice, although, given that markets are only just getting into their stride, the Commission will continue to monitor this aspect for the foreseeable future.

The telecoms services markets of the Member States are together worth around ECU 141,000 million, and growing at 8.2% a year. Since the liberalization process began, there have been continuous improvements in levels and quality of services, with corresponding falls in prices. Liberalization is also the driver of, and driven by, an unprecedented take-up of new services and technologies. Europe has already seen enormous growth in three areas: mobile communications, with more than 45 million users throughout the EU today; the use of fax, which has grown dramatically during the nineties; and the Internet.

Commenting on the situation, Mr Bangemann said: "The signal going out to market players, consumers and the EU's trading partners under the WTO agreement on telecoms, which came into force on 5 February, is first, that a regulatory framework is in place which will ensure that markets develop to their full potential; second, that the system is working, with licences being issued and players entering the market; and third, that the national regulatory authorities provided for in the package are established and are taking steps at national level to ensure compliance."

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