LawBytes deals this week with the new EU electronic communications code and the European guidelines on safeguarding privacy in the media sector.
TELCO – How the new European electronic communication code will change
The European Parliament and the Council reached a political agreement to update EU’s telecoms rules and recently the final compromise text of the Electronic Communications Code was published. Once finalised this new Directive will amend and repeal the current EU telecoms rules with the goal of simplying the European electronic communication regime.
The 450 page proposal is densely packed with interesting news, but here are some key facts you should know about the new Electronic Communications Code:
- it provides for a consistent single market approach to spectrum policy and management, also prescribing licenses lasting at least 20 years with the goal to enhance the deployment of 5G networks;
- it includes provisions targeted at further incentivising investments in very high-speed broadband connections by making rules for co-investment more predictable and promoting risk sharing in the deployment of very high capacity networks;
- it re-defines electronic communication services to include all interpersonal communications services, thus catching conventional telephony services as well as “over the top” services (e.g. messaging apps and web-based services); and
- it introduces a mobile fee cap for intra-EU calls (€ 19 cent/min.) and messages (€ 6 cent).
This new legal framework is expected to go to a final vote in the Autumn of 2018 and hopefully will promote sustainable long term competition. But considering the fact that it is a Directive, its implementation into national laws by each Member State shall be carefully monitored since it will have a great impact on key sectors like IoT and M2M.
Media – EU Guidelines on safeguarding privacy in the media
The Council of Europe (CoE) has recently approved its Guidelines on safeguarding privacy in the media which comprise a collection of case-laws of the European Court of Human Rights concerning the protection of privacy of public figures and private individuals in the media.
The guidelines focus on the existing standards of the Council and the Court and aim at being a concise, brief and user-friendly instrument of practical advice to journalists and other media professionals.
The first part of the text deals with privacy issues in the exercise of core journalistic activities, breaking down the basic notions involved in the balancing of freedom of expression and privacy while the second concerns the application of data protection principles in the context of journalism both in the context of editorial content and non-editorial content.
Together with the draft ePrivacy regulation and the copyright reform proposal these new legal updates confirm that Europe is consolidating its leadership in the exploitation of the great opportunities offered by digital technologies by breaking down digital barriers for consumers and businesses.