Mark Goldberg

Creating the right incentives

Telecommunications is a capital intensive business. Both wireline and wireless communications facilities require multi-billion dollar investments to upgrade technologies, extend the reach of networks and expand capacity for ever increasing demand from band-width hungry applications. A challenge for regulatory authorities is protecting consumer interests while preserving an investment climate that encourages investment by multiple market participants

In a recent blog post, former Austrian regulatory chief Georg Serentschy writes about the challenges being faced by European regulators trying to craft a new European Electronic Communications Code (EECC).

the EECC as it is taking shape is emerging as a ‘missed opportunity’ for Europe, threatening to fall far short of its original objectives. Presumably this will lead market participants to adopt a ‘wait-and-see’ attitude, with many not expecting more favourable investment conditions as a result of shifting this parallelogram of forces, through increasing state aid or other components for example.

He asks how regulators should respond to this ‘wait-and-see’ attitude, wondering if Europe should “start with a clean slate and put in place a clear, flexible and highly simplified regulatory framework.” He suggests “Why not dare to make investments in FTTH a matter of agreements under private law, for a limited term and subject to consistent ex-post supervision but completely free of regulation?”

Mr. Serentschy spent nearly a dozen years as CEO of RTR, the Austrian Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunication and was Chair of BEREC, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communication. He will be speaking on Tuesday June 5 at The 2018 Canadian Telecom Summit.

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