Over the past few years, the European ICT sector has undergone dramatic changes. The advent of technological convergence, the increased penetration of broadband, the emergence of new business models and the migration towards IP-based networks are blurring the boundaries between markets and creating new forms of competition. The combined effect of these changes calls for a thorough reconsideration of the ‘rules of the game’. Has the current EU regulatory framework delivered the expected results? Is it geared towards encouraging investment and competition to the benefit of European consumers? Should emerging services and technologies be regulated ex ante? Is Europe on the right track to achieve its ambitious goal to realise the “information society for all” by 2010? The CEPS Task Force on electronic communications brought together 54 participants and 28 invited guests and speakers, including representatives of European telecoms operators, telecoms manufacturers, industry associations, consultancies, law firms, distinguished scholars, the European Commission and the European Parliament. The Task Force focused on the pending issues in the review of the EU regulatory framework for electronic communications, scheduled to start in June 2006, as well as on spectrum policy, digital rights management, the regulatory treatment of audiovisual content and emerging multimedia services. The results of this wide-ranging debate are outlined in this Final Report, which contains a set of policy recommendations for Europe to respond to the “last call for Lisbon”.
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