Sunday, June 09, 2013

Saturday, May 11, 2013

UK Accuses EU of Delaying Urban Broadband Funding Approval

UPDATE UK Accuses EU of Delaying Urban Broadband Funding Approval - ISPreview UK: "Iain Bennett from DCMS manfully defending the increasingly sticky wicket that is the Urban Broadband Fund. He explained that the competition authorities in Brussels won’t sign off on state aid approval for the DCMS plan without a long and no doubt tedious examination. This would take the programme out of time. A key sticking point is open access with the Commission insisting that any state aid should go only to open access providers, leaving DCMS worried that this would mean the exit of BT. As a consequence cities are left with a need to urgently find Plan B.“ So what is Plan B? Bennett apparently told the audience that the government was looking at some sort of “end user vouchers” that wouldn’t fall foul of EU state aid rules"
All this because BT and Virgin won't build wholesale networks - charming! 'via Blog this'

Friday, March 15, 2013

France pushes for controls on Skype calls

France pushes for controls on Skype calls - "Arcep said the fact that Skype allowed its users to make voice calls to fixed line and mobile numbers in France meant that it provided a telephone service, and therefore had an obligation to allow emergency calls and to allow French police and security services to monitor its voicemail traffic when legally required. Skype rejected the claims, saying: “We have engaged with Arcep in discussion over the last several months during which we shared our view that Skype is not a provider of electronic communications services under French law.” 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

ETNO calls for deregulation in fixed telephony

ETNO calls for deregulation in fixed telephony - Telecompaper: "the lobby group for incumbent operators would like to see ex ante regulation ended in the retail market for access to the fixed telephone network (market1). It sees no competition issues in the market, as fixed telephony is increasingly subject to competition from mobile networks and over-the-top services provided on broadband networks.  ETNO also wants a new approach to wholesale regulation of broadband networks that takes into account all competing platforms at retail level, including cable and next-generation mobile networks, in accordance with the principle of technological neutrality. National regulators should also be asked to analyse geographical differences within a national market, in order to focus regulation on uncompetitive areas. Furthermore, ETNO said it sees no need to add new markets (such as IP transit or SMS termination) to the list of relevant markets.'via Blog this'

Monday, March 11, 2013

TeliaSonera CEO Quits Amid Criticism

TeliaSonera CEO Quits Amid Criticism - "Mr. Nyberg said he had been informed Thursday evening that a major reshuffling of the board was pending and that the new board wasn't prepared to give him its support. Chairman Anders Narvinger, who in December said he wouldn't stand for re-election, said he expects the majority of the board to leave following pressure from its biggest owners, the states of Sweden and Finland. "The company is in a very troublesome situation," Mr. Narvinger told a news conference. "In hindsight, you can say that we should have scrutinized operations closer."" 'via Blog this'

EE Loses Appeal Over Mobile Connection Fees Cut in Half by Ofcom

EE Loses Appeal Over Mobile Connection Fees Cut in Half by Ofcom - Bloomberg: "EE, the wireless operator owned by Deutsche Telekom AG (DTE) and France Telecom SA (FTE), lost a bid to overturn the U.K. telecommunication regulator’s decision to limit what mobile companies can charge to connect to other networks. EE challenged Ofcom’s 2011 reduction of so-called termination rates by more than half, a move that is expected to cost operators about 200 million pounds ($302 million) a year, appeals court judge Alan Moses said in a written ruling today. He agreed with an earlier decision by the Competition Appeal Tribunal and rejected EE’s claim."
British Telecommunications PLC & Ors -v- Office of Communications, Appeal of 2nd Appellant from the order of The Competition Appeal Tribunal, dated 8th May 2012, filed 20th June 2012. C3/2012/1523 'via Blog this'

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Commission fines Telefónica and Portugal Telecom €79m for illegal non-compete contract clause

EUROPA - PRESS RELEASES - Press Release - Antitrust: Commission fines Telefónica and Portugal Telecom € 79 million for illegal non-compete contract clause: "Article 101 of the TFEU prohibits agreements that have the object or effect to restrict competition and may affect trade in the EU Single Market. Both Telefónica and Portugal Telecom are the largest telecoms operators in their home countries. For example, in 2011 Telefónica accounted for almost half of all revenue generated by the Spanish telecoms sector. Each of the parties has a very limited presence in the other party's home country. The Commission opened an investigation on its own initiative in January 2011 (see IP/11/58) after it became aware of the agreement between Telefónica S.A. and Portugal Telecom SGPS S.A. The Commission has a copy of the agreement concluded on the occasion of the Vivo transaction and of the non-compete clause, which originally was due to run from September 2010 to the end of 2011. The Commission sent the parties a Statement of Objections in October 2011 (see IP/11/1241)." 'via Blog this'

Friday, March 08, 2013

Scarcity is the Achilles’ Heel of Legacy Broadband

Scarcity is the Achilles’ Heel of Legacy Broadband | Technically speaking …: " In 2003, when consumer ADSL broadband was just emerging, a 2Mb/s connection cost 25€ per month. Free smashed the doors of the market open by offering triple-play with 8Mb/s broadband and unlimited national voice for 30€ per month. Over the years, the package grew with additional services and features, but the price stayed flat. It took a while for Free’s competitors to accept that the company wasn’t losing money with each new customer, and the “Internet Troublemaker” as the French press has dubbed, conquered a third of the broadband market and continues to exert a psychological pressure on the ecosystem to this day. Over time, the steam in their wireline engine has exhausted, but they’re now in the process of disrupting the wireless business. On the opposite end of the disruptive spectrum lies Norway’s Altibox. Altibox launched its fiber to the home services the same year Free was launching triple-play in France" 'via Blog this'

Friday, March 01, 2013

European Commission prohibits Ryanair/Aer Lingus deal | Chillin'Competition

European Commission prohibits Ryanair/Aer Lingus deal | Chillin'Competition: "Last Wednesday the Commission confirmed that it has decided to prohibit -for the second time- the proposed merger between Ryanair and Aer Lingus merger (click here for the press release). This is the fourth prohibition decision adopted under Commissioner Almunia, and the 24th in the history of EU competition law." 'via Blog this'

Commission insists German operators should not be allowed special treatment on mobile rates

EUROPA - PRESS RELEASES - Press Release - Digital Agenda: Commission insists German operators should not be allowed special treatment on mobile rates: "In the letter sent to BNetzA today, the Commission explains that the new rates in the regulator's proposal do not comply with the principles and objectives of EU telecoms rules which require Member States to promote competition and the interests of consumers in the EU, as well as the development of the Single Market. This is a further example of the Commission using its powers regarding national remedies under Article 7a of the Telecoms Directive (MEMO11/321). BNetzA now has three months to work with the Commission and the body of European telecoms regulators (BEREC) on a solution to this case." 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Magyar Telekom executives regulated by US anti-corruption laws

Against corruption in telecoms: "A judge in the Southern District of New York denied three Hungarian nationals’ motion to dismiss charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) related to violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). In SEC v. Straub (1:11-cv-09645), the SEC brought a lawsuit against the three individuals for an alleged bribery scheme involving government officials in Macedonia. Despite the fact that the Hungarian nationals worked for a Hungarian company and the alleged bribery occurred with foreign nationals outside of the United States, the SEC asserted that it had jurisdiction over the individuals because the company was traded through American Depository Receipts listed on the New York Stock Exchange." 'via Blog this'

Berec disagrees with EC call on Czech fixed termination fees

Berec disagrees with EC call on Czech fixed termination fees - Telecompaper: "The Bureau of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (Berec) thinks that the doubts expressed by the European Commission on the Czech regulator CTU's draft decision on market 3 are not justified. In November 2012 CTU notified the EC of its draft measure on market 3, for call termination on fixed networks. In December 2012, the EC issued its opinion on the draft, saying it would create a barrier to the internal market and may be incompatible with EU law. As part of the EC's phase II investigation, Berec issued its own opinion on the Czech regulator's proposal. Berec argues that the resulting price levels themselves cannot be a reason for the EC's doubts, as the CTU used the EU's recommended model for calculating fixed termination rates. Berec also disagrees with the EC that the modeled network was not entirely IP-based. The third issue is the EC's doubts over whether the costs in the model are based on an efficient operator. Berec recommends that these three elements of the methodology are more closely examined by the EC and CTU before a final decision is taken." 'via Blog this'

Brussels threatens to take governments to court to create single mobile market

Brussels threatens to take governments to court to create single mobile market | Business | "The European commission has waded into battle on behalf of the region's beleaguered mobile companies, threatening to overrule national governments by taking them to court in order to enforce the creation of a single market for telecoms. In a move which could erode the power of national watchdogs like the United Kingdom's Ofcom and centre decision making in Brussels, telecommunications commissioner Neelie Kroes promised to drive through one set of rules for the industry across Europe's 27 member states." 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Verizon v. FCC, No. 11-1355 (D.C. Cir.) - the net neutrality case

Verizon v. FCC, No. 11-1355 (D.C. Cir.) | "FCC used its Second Computer Inquiry, 77 FCC 2d 384 (1980), affirmed in CCIA v. FCC, 693 F.2d 198 (D.C. Cir. 1982) to achieve competition in data networks; see NCTA v. Brand X Internet Services, 545 U.S. 967, 976-977 (2005).
In the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Congress granted the FCC a central role in making and implementing federal policy regarding the Internet. Congress left to the Commission’s discretion the fundamental policy decision whether to classify broadband access as a “telecommunications service” subject to the common carrier provisions of Title II of the Communications Act or as an “information service” not subject to Title II. See 47 U.S.C. § 153(24), (53); Brand X, 545 U.S. at 976-977. Furthermore, in Section 706(a) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Congress directed the Commission to “encourage the deployment on a reasonable and timely basis of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans” based on competition." 'via Blog this'

Monday, February 25, 2013

Ofcom Advises EU of Intent to Slash BT Leased Line Prices in the UK

Ofcom Advises EU of Intent to Slash BT Leased Line Prices in the UK - ISPreview UK: "The communications regulator, Ofcom, has today issued a Draft Statement that formally notifies the European Commission (EC) of their proposal to cut the price that ISPs, mobile operators and businesses pay to BT for wholesale Leased Line services at speeds of above 1Gbps in all parts of the UK except London and Hull. Ofcom’s review of the country’s £2bn (annual) market for business telecoms services last year found that BT had Significant Market Power (SMP) in the “relatively new market” for 1Gbps+ and should thus be subject to tighter regulation (here), which included overall price caps linked to inflation that would ultimately result in a “real-terms price reduction“." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Net neutrality in Europe: Neelie Kroes: Your EU rights as a telecoms user - ...

Net neutrality in Europe: Neelie Kroes: Your EU rights as a telecoms user - ...: Neelie Kroes blog - Your EU rights as a telecoms user - European Commission : "A few years ago the EU agreed a package of measures for the E...

Just what does BT have planned for its 4G licence

Just what does BT have planned for its 4G licence: We drill into UK LTE • The Register: "BT could offer in-home LTE, backhauled over broadband whenever one was near a BT Broadband customer or OpenZone spot, and roaming to one of the operators the rest of the time. With the right pricing that could be a very competitive offering, and something the network operators should be concerned about" 'via Blog this'

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Presentation for 19 February

Note we are meeting at both 10-12 in the usual room and 4-6pm in the smaller of the Law Common Rooms (to the right of 5S.6.17).
Your assignment is to keep with the reading for Weeks 4-5, to collect the reading from the Law office, and to make a presentation of 3 slides outlining telecoms regulatory development in 2009 in your chosen country: Australia, UK, Turkey, Finland, Netherlands, France, Germany. The link to the country reports is here (Published October 2010): note that country reports have been replaced by a confusing mess of statistics in 2011/2012.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Finally! Bidding starts in UK 4G auction

Finally! Bidding starts in UK 4G auction | Watching the Connectives: "After many twists and turns (see here for background), the UK auction of spectrum in the 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands started 23 January. Ofcom announced that the bidders are:
Everything Everywhere Limited
HKT (UK) Company Limited (a subsidiary of PCCW Limited)
Hutchison 3G UK Limited
MLL Telecom Ltd
Niche Spectrum Ventures Limited (a subsidiary of BT Group plc)
Telefónica UK Limited
Vodafone Limited" 'via Blog this'

Internet access declared a basic right in Germany

Internet access declared a basic right in Germany | Sci-Tech | DW.DE | 27.01.2013: "Germany's Pirate Party, which supports freedom of information, sees the ruling as having "far-reaching consequences" for policy-makers, as stated by Pirate Party national executive board member Klaus Peukert in his blog. He notes that if Internet access is classified as a basic need, it has to be taken into account in unemployment benefit payouts. It also means that any proposals to cut off Internet access for notorious copyright infringers have to be laid to rest. "The federal and state governments now have a duty to treat Internet access as a basic need and to close the gaps in the broadband network across the country," Peukert added." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Competition Appeal Tribunal: BT Application for Extension in Ofcom Ethernet Case

Competition Appeal Tribunal - Ruling (Application for Extension of Time): Worht reading for rules of procedure in CAT cases:
"“BT” sought a prospective extension of time in which to file its notice of appeal against certain determinations by the Office of Communications pursuant to Rule 8(2) of the Tribunal’s Rules. For the reasons set out in the Ruling, the application was refused on the basis that the circumstances relied upon by BT did not constitute exceptional circumstances as required by Rule 8(2)." 'via Blog this'

Monday, January 21, 2013

Ofcom sets out proposals to tackle mid-contract price rises

Ofcom | Ofcom sets out proposals to tackle mid-contract price rises: "Of the options put forward, Ofcom’s proposed approach is to intervene to allow consumers to exit their contract without penalty if their provider introduces any price increase during the term of the contract. Alongside this, Ofcom would expect providers to be clear and upfront about the potential for price increases and of the consumer’s right to cancel the contract in the event of any price increase.
The consultation follows an Ofcom review into the fairness of certain contract terms. This review and Ofcom’s analysis of consumer complaints has identified issues concerning the clarity and effectiveness of current rules which has led to consumer harm.... Ofcom proposes to modify (General Condition 9.6) to allow consumers to withdraw from a contract without penalty, if providers increase prices during the contract term."
Note - this is in response to several major companies raising prices unilaterally to customers on 12-24 month contracts - from September 2011. The change would not take effect until June 2013 at earliest...'via Blog this'

T-Mobile loses test case on holiday mobile data charges

T-Mobile loses test case on holiday data charges - Telegraph: "T-Mobile, which has now merged with Orange and rebranded to become Everything Everywhere, has been ordered to pay back over £500 of roaming charges racked up by lawyer Angela Walsh. The litigation partner at City firm Abrahams Dresden had called T-Mobile to cancel her phone contract, but had been persuaded to stay with the company after an upgrade was agreed.
However, data roaming capability was never discussed by the salesperson on the call, and when Ms Walsh flew to Australia she did not know that her new phone was capable of downloading data while she was abroad.
When she returned she discovered that T-Mobile had disconnected her phone and charged her £533.11. Judge Monty Trent ruled that the conversation on the phone between Ms Walsh and T-Mobile had concluded the contract between them, and terms and conditions would have had to be agreed then." 'via Blog this'