ICP meets with operators and content providers

/ Updated on 24.01.2008

ICP, the portuguese communications regulator, organised a meeting between telecommunications networks operators and the content providers, in order to discuss latest convergence trends between these two areas. The issues discussed included digital radio and television, new network technologies, DSL, ICP's regulatory activity and sector regulation, public services and authors' rights.

This meeting is a part of a series of encounters, within the ambit of the Platform for Convergence and Development, launched in 1999 between the telecommunications and information industries. A further meeting has been scheduled for this year with consumer rights associations and business associations that will be affected by the phenomenon of convergence.

In relation to the production of creative content, reference was made to the evolution of digital radio (DAB - Digital Audio Broadcasting) and its impact on improved commercial exploitation of RDS (Radio Data System), online radio and the diversification of the business of traditional radio broadcasters.

Reference was also made to the lack of public awareness in regards to digital terrestrial television (DVB-T - Digital Video Broadcasting - Terrestrial).

In what concerns the regulation, participants in the debate generally supported the idea that presently applicable legislation should not be extended to the Internet. Instead, it was suggested that legislation be created similar to that applicable to the media.

Emphasis was also made on the need to avoid bottlenecks and barriers in access to networks, and also prepare regulations for access rights.

The majority of those present in the meeting made reference to public service broadcasting, and it was proposed that the concept of public service broadcasting should be redefined.

During the meeting, a , repeated emphasis was made on the need of regulatory neutrality and distinction between services and creative content. Certain participants defended the principle of self-regulation, combined with horizontal regulation at the level of competition and consumer rights.

The meeting was attended by representatives of the following entities: Abril/Controljornal, APR - Associação Portuguesa de Radiodifusão, AIND - Associação Nacional da Imprensa Não Diária, ICS - Instituto da Comunicação Social, Jazztel, Maxitel, Nelson Quintas & Filhos - Telecomunicações, Optimus, Portugal Telecom, RDP, REFER, REN, RTP, SIC, Telecel, Texto Editora, TV Cabo Portugal and ICP - Instituto das Comunicações de Portugal.