Insights

Jones Day and ECTA Publish European Regulatory Scorecard for 2008

On January 28, 2009, the European Competitive Telecommunications Association (ECTA) published the 2008 Regulatory Scorecard. This is the sixth issue of its annual benchmark report on the effectiveness of telecommunications regulation across Europe. The 2008 report compares the regulatory environment across Europe, including Turkey for the first time, in addition to 18 Member States and Norway, and its effectiveness in fulfilling the objectives of the EU regulatory framework.

The analysis was based on information provided by National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) and ECTA members in response to a detailed questionnaire consisting of 104 questions and carried out with the assistance of Jones Day and economic consultants SPC Network. Consultation on the questionnaire was also conducted with the European Commission and the European Regulators Group (ERG). Amongst the topics addressed are the overall institutional environment, key enablers for market entry and network roll out, the NRA’s regulatory processes, application of regulation by the NRA, and regulatory and market outcomes.

Key Findings:

  • Leading countries which perform well across all sections include the UK, the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark and France. Overall, the strong and weaker performing countries remain largely the same over the years.
  • Overall, a strong and positive correlation can be established when examining the relationship between the actions of the NRAs and the market conditions found in four key areas (narrowband access, mobile, business services and broadband access): countries where the regulator is more active tend to have better market outcomes. Some countries have been able to deliver strong market performances on the basis of the DSL broadband regulation.
  • There are still significant discrepancies, both from an institutional and a policy point of view in the EU. This appears to be particularly true for the regulation of next generation networks and Ethernet technologies, as well as for critical instruments (separated accounts, service level agreements, key performance indicators etc.) to ensure the effectiveness of certain remedies such as cost orientation and non-discrimination for bottleneck facilities.
  • NRAs' powers and independence should be strengthened in a number of respects in order to enable them to impose effective sanctions, functional separation and adequately apply the SMP-regulation. More attention should also be given to dispute settlement bodies and judicial appeal bodies.
  • Harmonization of key enablers for network roll-out should be improved and existing regulatory barriers to entry or innovation should be further reduced.

A complete version of the 2008 Scorecard is available on the ECTA website at www.ectaportal.com.

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