The swift and extensive roll-out of 5G and other next generation technologies throughout Europe, stronger consumer protection and a capped rate for international calls within the EU – all these are covered by the comprehensive set of new rules for the electronic communications sector that EU countries’ ambassadors approved today on behalf of the Council. A provisional agreement on the ‘European Electronic Communications Code’ and on a revised remit for the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communication (BEREC)was reached with the European Parliament on 5 June 2018.
The BCO Network initiative supports leading Member States’ broadband actors in order to accelerate broadband deployment for their stakeholders. These lead actors are BCOs: Broadband Competence Offices. Established at national and regional level by Member States on a voluntary basis, BCOs advise project promoters and policy makers on the legal, technological and financial challenges of broadband projects. In order to help stakeholders identify and contact their national BCOs, the BCO Network has launched a Directory mapping the national BCOs and providing direct contact details.
Despite achieving unprecedented growth and profit rates, the digital economy seems to be relatively undertaxed when compared to more traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ companies. The current rules are based on the physical presence of taxpayers and assets, and there is a general understanding that they are not suited to taxing a digital economy characterised by reliance on intangible assets and ubiquitous services whose location is often hard to determine. International bodies are currently working on how to adapt tax rules to the digital reality. The European Commission adopted a proposal in March 2018.
The European Commission has issued a recommendation asking the Slovak telecoms regulator RÚ to amend or withdraw its proposal to set the maximum price for wholesale voice call termination services offered by fixed line operators in the Slovak Republic. The Commission considers that RÚ did not correctly determine the weighted average cost of capital (WACC). The WACC is a parameter used for setting the cost-oriented access prices and its miscalculation may lead to higher prices for end users.