A new universal service broadband obligation for the UK

In November 2015, the David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister, announced the UK government’s intention to introduce a broadband universal service obligation to the UK. Subsequent announcements have clarified that his ‘ambition’ is that the minimum speed is set at 10 Mbps for consumers and small businesses.

Read moreA new universal service broadband obligation for the UK

Ofcom to review and update General Conditions of Entitlement affecting all communications providers operating in the UK

If you read past the Openreach headlines in Ofcom’s Digital Communications Market review, you can find four paragraphs in chapter eight announcing a review of the UK’s General Conditions of Entitlement, which will affect anyone operating a telecoms network or providing telecoms services in the UK  Since individual licences were (largely) abolished in the UK in 2003, providers of electronic communications networks or services have operated subject to the General Conditions of Entitlement (aka General Conditions or GCs).

Read moreOfcom to review and update General Conditions of Entitlement affecting all communications providers operating in the UK

Reforming Openreach’s governance: Ofcom’s proposals

In my last post, I summarised Ofcom’s initial conclusions from its review of the UK digital communications market. One of Ofcom’s conclusions was that the functional separation of BT’s Openreach division (which provides last mile access)  from the rest of BT, and the associated regulation of the relationship between BT and Openreach (implemented by binding undertakings) was …

Read moreReforming Openreach’s governance: Ofcom’s proposals

UK withdraws proposed updates to the Electronic Communications Code

On 22 January 2015, the UK Government withdrew its proposed changes to the Electronic Communications Code. As the changes were unexpected, more time for consultation is not entirely unwelcome. However, as the changes in large part were positive, I hope that this is only a delay and the proposals will be brought forward in due …

Read moreUK withdraws proposed updates to the Electronic Communications Code

UK proposes surprise changes to the Electronic Communications Code

In a surprise move, on 13 January the UK government announced plans to update the elderly (and, even to the House of Lords, rather incomprehensible) Electronic Communications Code which deals with the rights of telecoms operators to access public and private land. Whilst the proposed changes in large part adopt the recommendations of the Law Commission’s report …

Read moreUK proposes surprise changes to the Electronic Communications Code

Advocate General Pedro Cruz Villalón issues damning opinion on the Data Retention Directive

Last week (12/12/2013), a serious blow was dealt to one of the fundamental building blocks establishing the legal framework for retention of data for law enforcement across Europe.  Advocate General Pedro Cruz Villalón (AG) at the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) delivered an opinion stating that the Data Retention Directive (DRD) is, as a whole, …

Read moreAdvocate General Pedro Cruz Villalón issues damning opinion on the Data Retention Directive

Insight to China, India and Japan’s communications markets from Ofcom report

Ofcom this week published its most recent report comparing the UK’s communications (telecoms, TV, radio, web and post) market with 16 other countries, including China, India and Japan.  Whilst Ofcom’s press releases have focused on the comparatively good performance of the UK (which oddly enough seems to reflect well on the UK regulator – Ofcom), …

Read moreInsight to China, India and Japan’s communications markets from Ofcom report

How much space do you need for structural separation?

I was intrigued to read today’s joint response (from Starhub, M1, MyRepublic, ViewQwest, SuperInternet, Nucleus Connect and the Asia Pacific Carriers’ Coalition) to the Singapore telecoms regulator’s (IDA) public consultation on whether to allow additional ownership consolidation in its national fibre-optic network market. With the benefit of hindsight, I was pondering how an apparently elegant solution to a regulatory challenge has ended …

Read moreHow much space do you need for structural separation?

India opens telecoms sector to 100% foreign investment

On Tuesday 16th July the Indian Government announced its decision to relax its foreign direct investment rules to permit 100% foreign investment in the telecoms sector, up from the prior cap of 74%. In the basic and cellular telecoms services sectors, 49 per cent foreign investment will now be allowed automatically, but investment above this remains subject to approval by the Foreign Investment Promotion …

Read moreIndia opens telecoms sector to 100% foreign investment