5G legal challenges in Italy and EBA report on crypto-assets

LawBytes #28 deals this week with the 5G legal obstscles in Italy raised by the Italian Communications Authority and the EBA report on crypto assets.

TMT – Antitrust Authority points out the legal obstacles for 5G deployment in Italy

As last week’s CES global meeting on technological trends proved, 5G represents a key opportunity for technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) service providers to take connectivity to the next level in 2019.

Bringing massive advantages in the speed of signal transmission, 5G will truly allow Virtual Reality and Internet of Things to become everyday reality.

Although European regulators have adopted a consistent approach to provide legal certainty and incentivize investments for the deployment of 5G networks, there are still obstacles in the way of its mass rollout, the solution to which is not easy to see.

The Italian Competition Authority (AGCM) recently issued a report highlighting the obstacles to the installation of mobile telecommunications and broadband wireless access facilities existing in municipal, regional and national regulations, which could cause a significant slowdown in the transition to 5G technologies in Italy.

Notably AGCM identifies a list of critical issues, such as:

  • national electromagnetic emissions and power limits;
  • municipal restrictions on the installation of telecommunications facilities; and
  • lack of legislative uniformity and standard authorization process.

After the record $ 7.6 billion sale in the 5G Airwaves Auction, there’s no doubt that TMT companies aim to take advantage of this new cutting-edge technology to fight the fierce competition and slowing subscriber growth, but in order to fully exploit the potential of 5G, a comprehensive compliance strategy should be carefully designed at first not only in Italy, but worldwide.

If you are interested in this topic, don’t miss our previous posts: “European cybersecurity toolkit and report on the Italian telecom market” and “EU Electronic Communications Cod and AI ethical charter“.

FinTech – new EBA  report on  issues arising in relation to crypto-assets

In the beginning of January 2019 the European Banking Authority (EBA) published the results of its assessment of the applicability and suitability of EU law to crypto-assets.

 The EBA examines in the report:

  • the application of current EU banking, payments, e-money and anti-money laundering laws to crypto-assets (including the PSD2 Directive);
  • the recommendations adopted by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in October 2018 to mitigate the risks of money laundering and the financing of terrorism arising from specified activities involving virtual assets;
  • credit institutions, investment firms, payment institutions and electronic money institutions’ activities involving crypto-assets and regulatory and supervisory issues.

Additionally, the EBA sets out a number of steps that it will take in 2019 to enhance the monitoring of institutions’ crypto-asset activities and consumer-facing disclosure practices.

Crypto-asset-related activities in the EU are regarded to be relatively limited and, at this time, it does not appear to give rise to implications for financial stability.

In any case, considering the Crypto-shakedown of fall 2018 and its consequences on the market trust, companies willing to launch an ICO or token generation event, shall seriously assess whether any kind of regulation or law is applicable to their business (as it could really be the case).

On this topic be sure not to miss our previous post: “EU ICO rules and first blockchain bond“.

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Tommaso Ricci

Tech addict and privacy geek, working with Giulio Coraggio in the Intellectual Property and Technology Department of DLA Piper. I write about latest news in the legal-tech framework to help intercept the trends and gain a competitive edge in the market.

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