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BEREC strategy 2021 - 2025
0 days left (ends 13 Apr)
Together with the call for contributions to the public consultation on the draft BEREC WP 2020, a first call for input to the review of the BEREC Strategy was launched on 7 November 2019. After considering the input received from respondents the 42nd BEREC Plenary meeting approved the Draft BEREC Strategy 2021-25 for public consultation.
This latest update of BEREC’s strategy covers a period of five instead of three years, namely 2021-2025. This extended period enables better alignment with the legislative cycle of the European Commission, and the objectives and new priorities set out by President von der Leyen for the period of 2019 -2024. At the same time, the structure of the BEREC strategy is being kept so as to follow the strategic high-level priorities around connectivity, digital issues and end-users. To ensure that the BEREC strategy remains relevant and aligned with future developments, BEREC will revisit its strategic priorities over the course of the period.
The stakeholders are invited to express their views on the draft strategy 2021-25.
This early call for input is the first stage of the consultation process for the WP 2021. BEREC will consult again on its draft WP 2021 after the third BEREC Plenary of 2020 (1-2 October 2020).
Interested parties are kindly asked to send their contributions for both the BEREC Strategy 2021-25 and their early input for the BEREC WP 2021 no later than 13 April 2020 (17:00 CET) to the BEREC_Strategy_2021firstname.lastname@example.org address or provide it here through the BEREC online consultation platform.
LEVEL OF AGREEMENT
MOST DISCUSSED PARAGRAPHS
P33 - Strategic priority 1: Again, how does making "fibre backhaul necessary" reconcile with abovementioned statements in the document? How does it respect technology neutrality? BEREC should rather stimulate / lower the barriers of use of all available technologies for backhaul, be it wireless, satellite or wireline.
P18 - "bridging the digital divide": Digital divide is an issue that does not depend on 5G super performances but on the actual deployment of affordable and robust broadband connectivity solutions to everyone, everywhere. BEREC could make it clear to the EU Commission and invite all stakeholders to contribute to overcoming the digital chasm, without waiting for 5G to be available everywhere.
P17 - "dependence of fibre backhaul": How does this statement reconcile with abovementioned statements on "integration of different networks and technologies" or "cloud of solutions"? Without denying the high value of fibre, it is very surprising to imagine that all new wireless technologies depend, or will ever depend, on fibre backhaul - hopefully, it is not necessary!
P15 - "available resources at the edge of the network": This concept of 'edge' is getting more essential than ever with 5G, as quality of service (or, rather, "quality of experience") will increasingly rely on storage and computing of content at the edge of networks. Hence the flexibility and agility of network resources are getting as important as pure throughput speed.
P13 - "the 5G network as a 'cloud of solutions'": To be more precise, tomorrow's 5G network will indeed be a common infrastructure (and not simply "a part of" it) that integrates radio, satellite and optical technologies together (not as a mere aggregation of networks) to deliver connectivity between people and between things.
P11 - "Path towards the gigabit society": Can BEREC confirm that they are talking about a "digital society" that should be fully inclusive, fair and accessible for all, as referenced in several different places of this document? P11 - "specific requirements of the infrastructure of the future": It is largely recognised that these features are not needed together simultaneously, for all applications. Some apps are more sensitive to response times (typically online gaming), others need more resilience, low bandwidth is fine for a few (e.g. IoT). Also, the question of affordability remains critical for many individual and small enterprise users across Europe. P11 - "seamless integration of different networks and technologies" actually means that most often, each connectivity link depends / will depend on a combination of several technologies to reach the end-user. Hence the necessity to adopt a policy approach that is truly technology neutral.
MOST ACTIVE USERS
BEREC is providing guidelines to help ensure consistent regulatory application of the EECC regarding the deployment of VHCN. BEREC will continue this work with the aim of creating regulatory stability and predictability for the benefit of investments (private and public) in VHCN. BEREC will also address other issues that may encourage investment and roll-out of VHCN across Europe, such as access to ducts and infrastructure.
BEREC is also finalising the guidelines on new instruments to promote connectivity on the fixed network side (e.g. roll-out of fibre networks) and to monitor the implementation of these guidelines, which NRAs are obliged to take into account. The drafting and implementation are one of BEREC’s core tasks assigned by the 2018 BEREC Regulation. With these new guidelines, BEREC is contributing to the consistent application of the new regulatory tools, such as co-investment, symmetric regulation, wholesale-only operators etc., by NRAs when taking national decisions.
BEREC will also continue, within the scope of its competence, to follow the development of 5G actively and closely. Fixed network coverage and access options will influence 5G, as high-capacity quality fibre backhaul availability is necessary for the deployment of the new standard. Thus, wholesale access to fibre backhaul connectivity of cell sites needs to be ensured (and regulated, if appropriate) to prevent potential problems in terms of lack of coverage and refusal of access to bottleneck facilities. Duct and pole access and dark fibre may also become increasingly relevant.
Regarding security, BEREC can play an important role in the implementation of the 5G cybersecurity recommendation (Commission Recommendation on Cybersecurity of 5G networks C(2019) 2335), in cooperation with ENISA and the NIS cooperation group. Following this recommendation, BEREC’s role includes information and experience sharing on electronic communications market matters among its members, participants and other relevant bodies, and assisting in the toolbox development process as mandated in preamble 24 of the cybersecurity recommendation. Furthermore, BEREC is responsible for acquiring and reporting market impact information in any of the measures to be implemented concerning 5G cybersecurity to the NIS CG.
Further to promoting the fibre and 5G roll-out, BEREC will contribute, through cooperation with the competent bodies, to ensuring that future network technologies meet their connectivity targets in line with European values and interests (security, protection of the end-user, environmental challenges etc.).
The open internet is considered an important building block in the current EU telecom rules, as it guarantees, through specific obligations on the telecom operators, an open internet for the benefit of end-users. This enables innovation without permission by internet users. With the upcoming roll-out of 5G, BEREC will have an important role in contributing to continued, predictable and consistent application of the open internet regulation.
Concerning the digital economy, the use of big data and algorithms has great potential but could also increase the risk of some companies becoming dominant. Issues of potential monopolies, dominance and bottlenecks have been highlighted as some of the digital priorities of the EC. Furthermore, technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) promises to improve the quality of life, safety and prosperity of European citizens. AI and connected and automated mobility are equally among the digital priorities of the EC and likely to be considered in the forthcoming Digital Services Act. BEREC may investigate data-centric approaches and data-driven regulation principles as to their ability to achieve regulatory targets while empowering end-users.
In this aspect, BEREC and its constituent NRAs have expertise, such as integrating technological, economic, legal, and user protection perspectives in the design and practice of regulatory remedies (such as interoperability), as well as experience in coordinating the application of a common EU legislative approach to take account of both national and pan-European perspectives in electronic communications markets. BEREC will continue to build its knowledge base within the digital economy to make sure that technological, economic, legal, and user protection perspectives are integrated in the design and practice of regulation.
Engaging consumers in the fast-evolving digital ecosystem is becoming more complex. While digital innovation and competition among digital service providers has improved consumer empowerment, there is still an important role for regulators to play in ensuring a certain level of consumer transparency and digital skills.
BEREC’s approach to empowering end-users is based on two pillars: monitoring of the sector and the appropriate level of transparency. As part of monitoring the functioning of the EECC, BEREC will also monitor new end-user provisions such as the information provision requirements, including the contract summary template, and will provide input to the EC regarding the review of end-user rights. In terms of transparency, BEREC will also continue its work towards greater involvement of stakeholders, including consumer representatives, and publish its work in compliance with the BEREC regulation.
Cooperation with EU institutions and international organisations is becoming increasingly important for BEREC in order to deal with issues relating to global and borderless digital markets at a time when issues often span across established regulatory boundaries. BEREC is hence increasing its efforts to reach out and engage in dialogue with NRAs beyond the EU, with networks and institutions working on regulation and electronic communication and policymakers, and establish working arrangements where relevant.