Meetings of WG Framework Review - Brussels and Dublin

Meetings of the Framework Review working group (WG FWR) of the RSPG were held last 13 and 25 January, respectively in Brussels and Dublin, co-chaired by the France’s Agence Nationale des Fréquences and Hungary’s National Media and Infocommunications Authority.

WG FWR is in charge of accompanying the review of the new regulatory framework.

The participants in this session included representatives from the European Commission (EC) and delegates from ten member states, including Portugal (represented by ANACOM).

At these meetings WG FWR focused on preparing a common RSPG vision regarding the proposed review of the regulatory framework with respect to radio spectrum, i.e. the proposed ‘code’ consisting of a new directive encompassing matters covered in the current framework directives, authorisation, access and universal service.

Note that the EC is part of this group and helped clarify some less obvious aspects of the proposal for the new regulatory framework. Parallel to this, the meetings also served to make more direct contact with industry in order to include, when appropriate, its concerns in the RSPG position. Particularly notable was the presentation given by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association at the 13 January meeting, stressing certain alerts on: (i) the proposed procedure for spectrum sharing; (ii) the conditions to indicate in licences, such as wholesale obligations; and (iii) losses vis-à-vis regulatory security and the likelihood of it becoming possible to reduce the duration of rights by initiative of the EC.

Finally, note that in lieu of a more detailed analysis that might be done in a second phase if the RSPG (plenary) so decides, at the 13 January meeting WG FWR opted for a more succinct and direct view that identifies a priori the positive points of the EC proposal and those that need to be improved. In this exercise, which is fundamentally based on the position the RSPG had already disclosed in 2016 via the RSPG “Report on the Results of the Public Consultation on the Review of the EU Telecommunications Framework”, an analysis was undertaken with a view to indicating common aspects and differences between the RSPG’s June 2016 position and what was eventually proposed by the EC. The vision furthermore calls attention to new situations detected in the proposal, such as the need, which ANACOM has warned of, to make more clear the scope of the ‘code’ and the proposal on compulsory peer review to apply to spectrum allocation processes.

As requested by the plenary RSPG session, the proposed common vision, which may be transformed into an RSPG opinion, will be submitted to the group’s plenary meeting scheduled for 7 February 2017. The next meeting of RSPG WG FWR was scheduled for 8 February in Brussels, right after the RSPG plenary meeting.