Insights

Jones Day and ECTA Publish European Regulatory Scorecard for 2007

The European Competitive Telecommunications Association (ECTA) has published the 2007 Regulatory Scorecard, its annual benchmark report on the effectiveness of telecommunications regulation across the European Union’s Member States. The 2007 report compares the regulatory environment in 18 Member States and Norway and its effectiveness in promoting the objectives of the EU regulatory framework.

The analysis was based on responses submitted by National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) to a detailed questionnaire consisting of 118 questions and carried out with the assistance of Jones Day and economic consultants SPC Network. The topics addressed included the institutional framework, general market access conditions, and the specific competitive and regulatory conditions relating to the markets for fixed and mobile telephony, high speed business connections and broadband.

Key Findings:

  • Countries where regulators have taken action that allows competition to flourish, including the UK, Netherlands and Scandinavian countries, have seen strong performance in their telecoms markets. However, others including Poland, the Czech Republic and Greece have fallen behind, while institutional weaknesses may be preventing Germany, Belgium and Finland from reaching their full potential.
  • The ability of the regulator to tackle competitive problems can have immediate and tangible consequences for consumers – affecting the price of telecom services, as well as longer term investment in the sector. In countries where regulators have enforced access to the incumbents’ local loop to open broadband markets to competition, broadband prices are typically the lowest and the broadband speeds the fastest.
  • Regulators are not moving quickly enough to understand and address new issues that arise as the sector evolves and networks are upgraded with newer technologies. Such delays create serious risks that each time technologies and networks are updated, there will be periodic set-backs or even reversals of the competitive process.
  • An active approach to promoting competition by governments and regulators is typically the most rewarding in delivering consumer benefits and competition both the short and longer term.

The complete version of the 2007 Scorecard is available on ECTA's website at http://www.ectaportal.com/en/basic651.html.

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