On 19 December 2009, the legislation comprising the new regulatory framework for telecommunications entered into force, with its publication today in the Official Journal of the European Union (EU). This includes the following legislation:
- Directive 2009/136/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009, amending Directive 2002/22/EC on universal service and users' rights relating to electronic communications networks and services, Directive 2002/58/EC concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector and Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 on cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws;
- Directive 2009/140/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009, amending Directives 2002/21/EC on a common regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services, 2002/19/EC on access to, and interconnection of, electronic communications networks and associated facilities, and 2002/20/EC on the authorisation of electronic communications networks and services.
These Directives must be transposed into the national law of the EU's 27 Member States by May 2011.
Today also sees the publication of the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009, establishing the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and the Office (Regulation (EC) No. 1211/2009 of 25 November 2009). This regulation is directly applicable, entering into force within 20 days.
Commission Decision of 16 December 2009 (EU) was also published, amending Decision 2002/622/EC, which introduced the Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG). With this amendment, the role of this group in advising the Commission in the preparation of draft programmes regarding the spectrum is fully enacted.
The EC argues that, with the reform of telecommunications, European citizens ''will be able to benefit from more consumer choice through enhanced competition on Europe's telecoms markets, from better coverage over fast internet broadband connections across Europe, and from a stronger entrenchment of their right to privacy in their telecommunications''.
On the spectrum side, Member States will have to adapt their allocation and licensing systems to the new rules. The Commission intends to prepare a first radio spectrum policy programme and create a strategic framework to develop a coherent EU spectrum policy.
Finally the Commission published a declaration on net neutrality.