This study, prepared to support the review of the EU framework for electronic communications (i) describes how the sector has evolved since the 2002 framework was originally adopted and reviewed in 2009; (ii) outlines problems associated with the existing regime; (iii) identifies objectives for the future, and (iv) assesses through quantitative and qualitative methods, the impacts of various policy options for the revision of the framework. Although the framework has generally delivered on its main objectives it has not sufficiently levelled up connectivity standards to enable users to benefit from the evolution of digital services in sectors such as healthcare, education, manufacturing or transport. The framework has also not fully adapted to market and technological developments creating complexity for providers and undermining consumer trust. Moreover, certain aspects are redundant or inefficient. The preferred solution would foster very high capacity networks through infrastructure competition and co-investment alongside accelerated and better co-ordinated spectrum assignment to boost 5G and its successors, while obligations on ‘interpersonal communications services’ would be streamlined and made technologically neutral. The proposed solution requires strengthened co-ordination mechanisms supported through a reformed BEREC and enhanced remit for NRAs. Reforms could contribute €910bn to growth and 1.3m jobs by 2025.
The study (in English language) is available for download.