WIK Conference

The future of connectivity

Implementing the new Code, delivering the Gigabit society

16-17 October 2018, Le Châtelain Hotel, Rue du Châtelain 17, 1000 Brussels

On 6 June, the European institutions reached political agreement on a new telecoms Code, which will replace the EU Framework electronic communications. The Code will usher in a new approach towards telecom regulation, which emphasises infrastructure competition and facilitates co-investment and wholesale only deployments. It will also provide the framework for the deployment of 5G mobile networks, and extend certain protections to customers of OTT applications.

Agreement on the principles is just the first step. The coming years will see an intensive programme of implementation, including the adoption of new Guidelines by BEREC and greater scrutiny of national regulatory measures governing spectrum as well as broadband regulation.

In this conference, we will discuss the Code and its practical implications in detail, as well as hearing visions for the Gigabit society from leading experts in the sector.

Day 1 (16 Oct) will follow an interactive workshop format addressing questions around the new Code and measures to boost fixed and mobile broadband investment with the aid of European financing and national state aid programmes. Topics covered include:

  • Introducing the Code: a detailed presentation of the Code and Q&A from Anthony Whelan, Director of electronic communications at the European Commission
  • A new compact for Fibre: In this session we will explore what the new Code will mean for the market analysis process and SMP regulation that has underpinned telecom access regulation since 2002, and the implications for investment and competition in modern fibre networks. Has the ladder of investment been up-ended? Under what circumstances can telecom markets avoid ex ante regulation, and what reaction can we expect from operators and investors?
  • Lessons and prospects for 5G: In this session we explore developments in the auctioning of 5G spectrum within Europe and beyond, as well as experiences from 5G trials. We also discuss how the provisions of the electronic communications Code may affect spectrum assignments and conditions going forwards, and the implications for competition and investment in new licensed and unlicensed wireless technologies.
  • Bridging the gap: a new role for state aid: The European Commission has estimated that there will be a funding gap of more than €150bln in delivering its fixed and wireless Gigabit targets. In the context of the ongoing negotiations for the next multi-annual financing framework, we discuss experience with EU and national aid programmes for broadband and consider the case for further public intervention to bridge the gap in pursuit of a Gigabit society.

Day 2 (17 Oct) will turn to questions around the future of telecom policy.

  • The day will be opened with a keynote presentation from Ingo Vogelsang, Professor of economics at Boston University on the subject "Have we reached the end-game of telecommunication policy?"
  • Elisabetta Ripa, CEO of Italian fibre challenger Open Fiber, and Wilhelm Eschweiler, Vice-President at the German NRA BNetzA, will discuss challenges and opportunities in their respective markets and present their visions of a Gigabit society

We hope you will join us for our deep dive into telecom regulation and questions for the future.

Ilsa Godlovitch
Tel.: +32 2 8300380
Fax: +32 497 505641

Conference organisation:
Karin Wagner

Tel.: +49 2224 9225-42
Fax: +49 2224 9225-69