EU telecom ministers are concerned at the lack of competition in local telephony networks, diplomats said, after a ministers meeting examined the state of the European telecoms market 18 months after liberalisation came into force.
At the meeting in Luxembourg, ministers noted positive developments in the mobile market and said that although the state of play was a success overall, competition in the local loop market remains underdeveloped.
"One approach to develop competition in local telephony would be to have rules which would attract suppliers into the market, such as interconnection rules," said one diplomat, commenting on the ministers discussions.
Other diplomats said that allowing other operators to use incumbents' local lines should become a legal obligation.
The UK, the Netherlands and other northern member states urged the commission to monitor the transposition of liberalisation directives, to see if they are working well in practice, amid concerns that procedures are still not sufficiently transparent, they said.
Ministers believe that in some cases, too high a fee was being charged for licences, they said.
One UK official said that in the case of setting up a fund for universal service, the contribution from new entrants was not made clear enough and should be optional, as this was creating obstacles for smaller operators.
France and Italy have schemes where operators contribute to a fund for universal service.
Meanwhile, the French urged other member states to ensure a smooth transition between the second generation of mobile telephony to the third generation, known as in Europe as UMTS, and said that frequencies must be reserved for UMTS.
To comment on this story, email [email protected]
Insecticides based on sulfoxaflor might be as bad for bees as neonicotinoids
Intel teases forthcoming new graphics card accompanied by the text "We will set our graphics free"
Think your password manager is completely secure? Think again...
ARM plans 7nm 'Deimos' for 2019 and 5nm and 7nm 'Hercules' for 2020