Press release - BEREC adopts Guidelines on Very High Capacity Networks and launches Work Programme 2021 for public consultation

Document number: BoR (20) 182

Document date: 06-10-2020

Date of registration: 06-10-2020

Document type:
Author: BEREC Office

During the latest plenary meeting the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) has adopted the Guidelines on Very High Capacity Networks (VHCN) and launched its Work Programme 2021 for public consultation, as presented during the public debriefing today.

New leaders of BEREC

The Board of Regulators has approved a new composition of the Mini-board for 2021 and elected the BEREC Chair 2022 - Annemarie Sipkes – the Director of the Telecommunications, Transport and Postal Services Department at the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM). Next year she will serve as a Vice-Chair and the incoming BEREC Chair 2022. The other elected Vice-Chairs are Alejandra Iturriaga de Gandini (CNMC, Spain) and Jesmond Bugeja (MCA, Malta) together with Dan Sjoblom (PTS, Sweden) as the outgoing BEREC Chair. They will support Michel Van Bellinghen (BIPT, Belgium) - the BEREC Chair 2021. Dr Rainer Schnepfleitner (AK, Lichtenstein) was elected as the representative of participants without voting rights and together with the BEREC Chair and Vice-Chairs will compose the Mini-Board.

Work Programme 2021

The draft Work Programme focuses on the three high-level priorities: promoting full connectivity, supporting sustainable and open digital markets and empowering the end-users. A key policy objective in 2021 is to ensure that very high capacity networks and 5G services are available timely. BEREC will continue to promote the roll-out of fibre and 5G. Through cooperation with other institutions, BEREC will contribute to ensuring that future network technologies meet their connectivity targets in line with European values and interests, such as security, protection of the end-user and environmental challenges. The document is now launched for public consultation.

The draft BEREC Work Programme 2021 will also be presented at the annual BEREC Stakeholder Forum on 19 October 2020. BEREC invites stakeholders and media to register for the online event and engage with the current and incoming BEREC Chairs. The Forum will be followed by an in-depth discussion about digital platform regulation.

Guidelines on VHCN

During the plenary meetings, BEREC adopted the Guidelines for VHCN. The document guides the national regulatory authorities on the criteria a network has to fulfil to be considered a very high capacity network. In particular, in terms of the down and uplink bandwidth, resilience, error-related parameters, latency and its variation. These BEREC Guidelines provide the basis for the achievement of the new and important objective of the European Electronic Communications Code to promote connectivity and access to, and take-up of, very high capacity networks which is to know which networks are considered to be a very high capacity network.

With the European Electronic Communications Code entering into the application at the end of this year, BEREC has prepared its contribution to the EC targeted consultation on the update of the existing recommendations in the field of access regulation. BEREC agrees with the need to update and align the access recommendations with the Code, but points out that the Code prevails. Where the Code provides flexibility to NRAs to choose the appropriate set of remedies, this flexibility should not be narrowed down by a future access recommendation. Also, a future access recommendation should take into account BEREC Guidelines and other guidance document to avoid having several layers of soft law.

A full list of public documents adopted at the 44th ordinary plenary meeting is available on the BEREC website. The 45th BEREC plenary meetings will take place on 10-11 December 2020.