Press Release - BEREC launches its Work Programme 2023 for public consultation
At today’s BEREC public debriefing, the BEREC Chair Annemarie Sipkes (ACM, the Netherlands) informed stakeholders about the public consultation on the draft Work Programme 2023. Together with the BEREC Working Group Co-Chairs, she also presented the outcomes of the ordinary BEREC meetings held on 6-7 October in Salzburg, Austria, as set out below.
Next year, BEREC will continue monitoring digital markets, emerging electronic communication services and developments in both these areas in order to anticipate any potential regulatory needs in a fast-changing environment. Promoting full connectivity for consumers and businesses will remain a key priority for BEREC in the future.
BEREC Work Programme 2023
The objectives of the draft Work Programme are based on the BEREC Strategy 2021-2025, focusing on three priorities: promoting full connectivity, supporting sustainable and open digital markets, and empowering end-users. In the coming years, BEREC will continue facilitating the roll-out of very high capacity networks (VHCNs) and encouraging their use to close the digital divide. Through cooperation with other competent authorities and stakeholders, BEREC will also help to ensure that future network technologies meet their connectivity targets in line with European values and societal needs such as (cyber) security, safety and environmental challenges. The draft Work Programme also aligns BEREC's future work with the European Commission's vision, targets and avenues for Europe's digital transformation by 2030.
BEREC invites stakeholders to express their views on the draft Work Programme 2023 by 7 November 2022, this being the final stage of the consultation process.
IP interconnection ecosystem
BEREC announced the publication of its first contribution regarding the IP interconnection ecosystem and the impact of the sending-party-pays principle on this ecosystem, on end-users and on competition. This paper sets out a preliminary assessment, in relation to the discussion on the mechanism for “direct compensation” also referred to as “fair share” proposed by ETNO members during 2021/2022. At this stage, the paper has a limited scope and assesses only the underlying assumptions regarding the need to regulate remunerations of large content and application providers (CAPs) to internet service providers (ISPs). BEREC's preliminary assessment is based on several internal workshops with invited speakers, a large number of received written contributions and position papers published by various stakeholders and the previous BEREC work.
Incoming Chair 2024
During the most recent ordinary meetings, the BEREC Board of Regulators elected Tonko Obuljen as the BEREC Chair 2024. Mr Obuljen is Chairman of the Croatian Regulatory Authority for Network Industries (HAKOM). Next year, he will serve as a BEREC Vice-Chair and as the incoming BEREC Chair 2024.
The other Vice-Chairs who were elected are Hana Továrková (CTU, Czech Republic) and Robert Mourik (ComReg, Ireland). Together with outgoing BEREC Chair Annemarie Sipkes (ACM, the Netherlands), they will support Kostas Masselos (EETT, Greece), who is the BEREC Chair 2023.
Together with the representative of participants without voting rights, Branko Kovijanić (EKIP, Montenegro), the BEREC Chair 2023 and the Vice-Chairs mentioned above will compose the BEREC Mini Board for 2023.
BEREC study visit to the United States
During a study trip to the USA in September, the BEREC Miniboard visited several US institutions and companies to exchange views about regulatory trends and challenges. Along the lines of BEREC’s priorities for 2022, the meetings focused on digital economy, 5G, access to broadband and affordability and sustainability. One of the key takeaways was that affordability is the main connectivity challenge in the US. While the White House has a strong preference for future-proof fiber deployment, other interlocutors prefer a nation-wide roll out of broadband, allowing also other – and sometimes cheaper – technologies, shifting the focus to providing broadband connectivity everywhere.
A key future opportunity appears to lie in open interoperable networks. Open RAN allows network operators to choose from a variety of radio vendors making the interfaces open, which allows for more vendor competition and flexibility. In the future, mobile networks will be more software driven and will contain less hardware. This implies a shift from capital expenditures (fixed costs) into operational expenditures.
During the study trip, BEREC and its US counterpart FCC renewed their commitment to international cooperation and signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
Comparison tools for end-users
During today’s debriefing, the BEREC Chair launched a public consultation on the draft Report on Comparison Tools and Accreditation. This document gives comprehensive insights into the policy principle regarding independent comparison tools and their availability to end-users in EU Member States. According to the European Electronic Communications Code, the national regulatory authorities should provide end-users with at least one independent and free‑of‑charge comparison tool to evaluate internet access services and interpersonal communications services in terms of price and quality of service. BEREC invites stakeholders to express their views on the draft report by 23 November 2022.
Public documents available online
A full list of BEREC’s public documents adopted at the 52nd ordinary plenary meetings is available on BEREC’s website. The 53rd BEREC ordinary meetings will take place on 8‑9 December 2022 in Prague, Czech Republic.
Note for editors
The presentation and the video recording of the BEREC public debriefing will be available on BEREC’s website soon. The next BEREC public debriefing will take place on 14 December 2022 in Brussels.