Telecoms Package Framework Council Common Position
Telecoms Package: Directive on a common regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services (Framework 2002/21/EC) − Council of European Union Common Position − 2009-02-09
Article 8 − Policy objectives and regulatory principles
1. Member States shall ensure that in carrying out the regulatory tasks specified in this Directive and the Specific Directives, the national regulatory authorities take all reasonable measures which are aimed at achieving the objectives set out in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4. Such measures shall be proportionate to those objectives.
Unless otherwise provided for in Article 9 regarding radio frequencies, Member States shall take the utmost account of the desirability of making regulations technologically neutral and shall ensure that, in carrying out the regulatory tasks specified in this Directive and the Specific Directives, in particular those designed to ensure effective competition, national regulatory authorities do likewise.
National regulatory authorities may contribute within their competencies to ensuring the implementation of policies aimed at the promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity, as well as media pluralism.
2. The national regulatory authorities shall promote competition in the provision of electronic communications networks, electronic communications services and associated facilities and services by inter alia:
(a) ensuring that users, including disabled users, elderly users, and users with special social needs derive maximum benefit in terms of choice, price, and quality;
(b) ensuring that there is no distortion or restriction of competition in the electronic communications sector;
(d) encouraging efficient use and ensuring the effective management of radio frequencies and numbering resources.
3. The national regulatory authorities shall contribute to the development of the internal market by inter alia:
(a) removing remaining obstacles to the provision of electronic communications networks, associated facilities and services and electronic communications services at European level;
(b) encouraging the establishment and development of trans-European networks and the interoperability of pan-European services, and end-to-end connectivity;
(d) cooperating with each other, with the Commission and GERT so as to ensure the development of consistent regulatory practice and the consistent application of this Directive and the Specific Directives.
4. The national regulatory authorities shall promote the interests of the citizens of the European Union by inter alia:
(a) ensuring all citizens have access to a universal service specified in Directive 2002/22/EC (Universal Service Directive);
(b) ensuring a high level of protection for consumers in their dealings with suppliers, in particular by ensuring the availability of simple and inexpensive dispute resolution procedures carried out by a body that is independent of the parties involved;
(c) contributing to ensuring a high level of protection of personal data and privacy;
(d) promoting the provision of clear information, in particular requiring transparency of tariffs and conditions for using publicly available electronic communications services;
(e) addressing the needs of specific social groups, in particular disabled users, elderly users and users with special social needs;
(f) ensuring that the integrity and security of public communications networks are maintained;
5. The national regulatory authorities shall, in pursuit of the policy objectives referred to in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4, apply objective, transparent, non-discriminatory and proportionate regulatory principles by, inter alia:
(a) promoting regulatory predictability;
(b) ensuring that, in similar circumstances, there is no discrimination in the treatment of undertakings providing electronic communications networks and services;
(c) safeguarding competition to the benefit of consumers and promoting, where appropriate, infrastructure-based competition;
(d) promoting efficient investment and innovation in new and enhanced infrastructures, including by taking into account investment risks;
(e) taking due account of the variety of conditions relating to competition and consumers that exist in the various geographic areas within a Member State;
(f) imposing ex-ante regulatory obligations only where there is no effective and sustainable competition and relaxing or lifting such obligations as soon as such competition exists.
Article 9 − Management of radio frequencies for electronic communications services
1. Taking due account of the fact that radio frequencies are a public good that has an important social, cultural and economic value, Member States shall ensure the effective management of radio frequencies for electronic communication services in their territory in accordance with Article 8. They shall ensure that spectrum allocation used for electronic communications services and issuing general authorisations or individual rights of use of such radio frequencies by competent national authorities are based on objective, transparent, non-discriminatory and proportionate criteria. In doing so, they shall respect relevant international agreements and may take public policy considerations into account.
2. Member States shall promote the harmonisation of the use of radio frequencies across the Community, consistent with the need to ensure effective and efficient use thereof and in pursuit of benefits for the consumer such as economies of scale and interoperability of services. In so doing, they shall act in accordance with Decision No 676/2002/EC (Radio Spectrum Decision).
3. Unless otherwise provided in the second subparagraph, Member States shall ensure that all types of technology used for electronic communications services may be used in the radio frequency bands, available for electronic communications services in accordance with their National Frequency Allocation Plan and the ITU Radio Regulations.
Member States may, however, provide for proportionate and non-discriminatory restrictions to the types of radio network or wireless access technology used for electronic communications services where this is necessary to:
(a) avoid harmful interference,
(b) protect public health against electromagnetic fields,
(c) ensure technical quality of service,
(d) ensure maximisation of radio frequency sharing,
(e) safeguard efficient use of spectrum, or
(f) ensure the fulfilment of a general interest objective in accordance with paragraph 4.
4. Unless otherwise provided for in the second subparagraph, Member States shall ensure that all types of electronic communications services may be provided in the radio frequency bands, available for electronic communications services in accordance with their National Frequency Allocation Plan and the ITU Radio Regulations.
Member States may, however, provide for proportionate and non-discriminatory restrictions to the types of electronic communications services to be provided.
Measures that require an electronic communications service to be provided in a specific band available for electronic communications services shall be justified in order to ensure the fulfilment of a general interest objective as defined by Member States in conformity with Community law, such as, and not limited to:
(a) safety of life,
(b) the promotion of social, regional or territorial cohesion,
(c) the avoidance of inefficient use of radio frequencies, or
(d) the promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity and media pluralism, for example by the provision of radio and television broadcasting services.
A measure which prohibits the provision of any other electronic communications service in a specific band may only be provided for where justified by the need to protect safety of life services. Member States may also extend such a measure in order to fulfil other general interest objectives.
5. Member States shall regularly review the necessity of the restrictions referred to in paragraphs 3 and 4, and shall make the results of these reviews public.
6. Paragraphs 3 and 4 shall apply to spectrum allocated to be used for electronic communications services, general authorisations issued and individual rights of use of radio frequencies granted after ...(The date of transposition of Directive 2009/.../EC [amending Directive 2002/21/EC].).
Spectrum allocations, general authorisations and individual rights of use which existed by ...(The date of transposition of Directive 2009/.../EC [amending Directive 2002/21/EC].) shall be subject to Article 9a.
7. Without prejudice to the provisions of the Specific Directives and taking into account the relevant national circumstances, Member States may lay down rules in order to prevent spectrum hoarding, in particular by setting out strict deadlines for the effective exploitation of the rights of use by the holder of the rights and by applying penalties, including financial penalties or the withdrawal of the rights of use in case of non-compliance with the deadlines. These rules shall be established and applied in a proportionate, non-discriminatory and transparent manner.