Code and other laws of connectivity


The Commission’s proposed ‘connectivity package’ and a new Electronic Communications Code were discussed at a CEPS Digital Forum seminar on November 16th, chaired by Colin Blackman at CEPS. The seminar brought together a range of stakeholders’ and analysts’ views and considered the implications of co-investment and the possible impact of the package and Code on, namely, infrastructure competition; the focus on fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) and its implications for technology neutrality; the extension of obligations to digital service providers and the impact on the Digital Single Market; and the enhanced role for BEREC (Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications). Traditional ‘telcos’ were nuanced in their assessment of the new package. While Vianney Hennes (Orange) welcomed it as a balanced and proportionate initiative, Roland Doll of Deutsche Telekom thought it insufficiently ambitious, lacking harmonisation and deregulation and bringing greater confusion and uncertainty to an already complex sector. James Waterworth, of the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), even viewed the plans as the best way of unravelling the single market for online services, which would result in more market fragmentation and less consumer choice. Alexandre De Streel, (University of Namur), while broadly supportive, thought the proposed regulatory tool box added a layer of unprecedented complexity, while Brian Williamson (Communications Chamber) expressed the view that it was not a plan that was needed but, rather, clearer incentives. More information: