Regulation Made Simple

Telcomp has invited Cullen International to a debate session on the future of regulation for the telecom sector

30-06-2016 | Americas

Author : Elena Scaramuzzi

Organizer : Cullen International


Elena Scaramuzzi and André Gomes visited Telcomp’s headquarters in Sao Paulo in June, 2016. Some of the questions raised were also published by Telcomp in form of an interview, reproduced in short below.

 

Telcomp: Should telecom regulation be addressed in a single manner or should the country adopt a broader approach, covering internet, digital services and media in general? How is the issue covered in Europe? What are the tendencies to harmonize regulation of telcos and OTT service providers?

Cullen International: Regulation takes place to enable competition in Europe. Media services, for example, have long been regulated by the Commission. More recently, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) has published a report on the relationship between services provided by telcos and OTT companies. This document introduced a definition of OTT services and provided an initial assessment of their impact on the European regulatory scenario, in terms of consumer protection and competition.

 

Telcomp: How is the state of the art of the debate on net neutrality in Europe? Will there be room for the specialized services by telcos?

Cullen International: In Europe, specialized services may be (or are already) offered, provided the company has network capacity to offer them in addition to the services ‘commonly’ provided. This is important as it allows the delivery of some services more adequately, such as high definition videos. It is also clear that these services cannot replace the provision of other internet services and cannot have a negative impact on the access to ‘normal’ internet by final users. The ‘European Telecom Single Market’ (TSM), approved in 2015, also established that national regulating authorities shall also assure that nondiscriminatory offers to internet access are in place in each member state and follow quality standards that reflect technological advances. In Europe the debate regarding one “Digital Single Market” is also considered fundamental for the completion and acceleration of the full implementation of a European single market, from both social and economic perspectives. Among the main issues on focus are the elimination of national barriers still existing in terms of connectivity and electronic commerce, including taxation, copyrights, data security, privacy and others.

Latin America is a highly fragmented region when it comes to regulation. The still little demand for a more integrated interregional business has nevertheless shown potential to develop.

Read the original article (Telcom, in Portuguese)