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Single Market for electronic communications services: Committee vote builds momentum
With yesterday’s vote in the European Parliament’s Industry Committee on the European Electronic Communications Code, the European Parliament demonstrates broad support for the need to foster gigabit connectivity and a flourishing digital economy.
“The Code represents an opportunity to enhance legal certainty for investments in high-speed broadband networks, enable the digitalisation of the wider economy by accelerating 5G deployment and reducing costs for consumers and providers by tackling regulatory fragmentation and the deterrent effect it can have on investment. It has the potential to create a truly Single Market for digital communication services,” said Claudia Selli, Chair of the Digital Economy Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce to the EU (AmCham EU).
AmCham EU calls on the European Parliament to stand firm on its position to build a truly single market for electronic communication services. Cross-border providers should be able to rely on a single notification (‘one-stop-shop’) and the principle of main establishment (one main supervisory authority in the EU). An important number of providers already operate on a pan-European basis, a number that will increase exponentially with digital technologies and the new extended scope of the Code. As technology breaks down national market barriers, regulation should facilitate this development rather than hinder it.
In the same spirit, AmCham EU strongly supports the full harmonisation approach to end-user contractual obligations and the layered approach whereby rules only apply to services where relevant. This does not just depend on the type of service but also whether the end-user is a consumer or large enterprise. The ITRE committee’s position rightly recognises this difference and therefore limits most provisions to consumer contracts. AmCham EU strongly urges Member States to introduce the same clear distinction in their position.
Finally, the ITRE committee rightly excludes machine-to-machine (M2M) conveyance services from end-user contractual obligations. However, it is concerning that the definition itself has not been clarified to explicitly mention that only the transmission and not M2M services and applications themselves are covered by the Code. This risks to create new unjustified barriers to the development of Internet of Things. The unintended consequences of such an unclear definition are already visible in the e-privacy regulation, applicable to all M2M services without clear justification.
AmCham EU calls on the co-legislators to ensure these positive elements are taken fully on board in the upcoming negotiations. All efforts to build a Digital Single Market will create jobs, foster innovation and allow for more connected products and services that will enhance the well-being of society.
For more information, please contact Thibaut L'Ortye at TLO@amchameu.eu.