Telecoms Package Access JURI Opinion

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Telecoms Package: Directive on access to, and interconnection of, electronic communications networks and associated facilities (Access 2002/19/EC) − Committee on Legal Affairs Opinion − 2008-05-29

Article 9

Article 9 − Obligation of transparency

1. National regulatory authorities may, in accordance with the provisions of Article 8, impose obligations for transparency in relation to interconnection and/or access, requiring operators to make public specified information, such as accounting information, technical specifications, network characteristics, terms and conditions for supply and use, and prices.

2. In particular where an operator has obligations of non-discrimination, national regulatory authorities may require that operator to publish a reference offer, which shall be sufficiently unbundled to ensure that undertakings are not required to pay for facilities which are not necessary for the service requested, giving a description of the relevant offerings broken down into components according to market needs, and the associated terms and conditions including prices. The national regulatory authority shall, inter alia, be able to impose changes to reference offers to give effect to obligations imposed under this Directive.

3. National regulatory authorities may specify the precise information to be made available, the level of detail required and the manner of publication.

4. Notwithstanding paragraph 3, where an operator has obligations under Article 12 concerning unbundled access to the twisted metallic pair local loop, national regulatory authorities shall ensure the publication of a reference offer containing at least the elements set out in Annex II.

5. The Commission may adopt the necessary amendments to Annex II in order to adapt it to technological and market developments. The measures, designed to amend non-essential elements of this Directive, shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 14(3). On imperative grounds of urgency, the Commission may use the urgency procedure referred to in Article 14(4). In implementing the provisions of this paragraph, the Commission may be assisted by the national regulatory authorities.

Article 12

Article 12 − Obligations of access to, and use of, specific network facilities

1. A national regulatory authority may, in accordance with the provisions of Article 8, impose obligations on operators to meet reasonable requests for access to, and use of, specific network elements and associated facilities, inter alia in situations where the national regulatory authority considers that denial of access or unreasonable terms and conditions having a similar effect would hinder the emergence of a sustainable competitive market at the retail level, or would not be in the end-user's interest.

Operators may be required inter alia:

(a) to give third parties access to specified network elements and/or facilities, including unbundled access to the local loop;

(b) to negotiate in good faith with undertakings requesting access;

(c) not to withdraw access to facilities already granted;

(d) to provide specified services on a wholesale basis for resale by third parties;

(e) to grant open access to technical interfaces, protocols or other key technologies that are indispensable for the interoperability of services or virtual network services;

(f) to provide co-location or other forms of facility sharing, including the sharing of ducts, buildings or entry to buildings, antennae or masts, manholes and street cabinets;

(g) to provide specified services needed to ensure interoperability of end-to-end services to users, including facilities for intelligent network services or roaming on mobile networks;

(h) to provide access to operational support systems or similar software systems necessary to ensure fair competition in the provision of services;

(i) to interconnect networks or network facilities;

(j) to provide access to associated services such as identity, location and presence capability.

National regulatory authorities may attach to those obligations conditions covering fairness, reasonableness and timeliness.

2. When national regulatory authorities are considering whether to impose the obligations referred in paragraph 1, and in particular when assessing whether such obligations would be proportionate to the objectives set out in Article 8 of Directive 2002/21/EC (Framework Directive), they shall take account in particular of the following factors:

(a) the technical and economic viability of using or installing competing facilities, in the light of the rate of market development, taking into account the nature and type of interconnection and access involved;

(b) the feasibility of providing the access proposed, in relation to the capacity available;

(c) the initial investment by the facility owner, bearing in mind the risks involved in making the investment;

(d) the need to safeguard competition in the long term;

(e) where appropriate, any relevant intellectual property rights;

(f) the provision of pan-European services.

3. When imposing obligations on an operator to provide access in accordance with the provisions of this Article, national regulatory authorities may lay down technical or operational conditions to be met by the provider and/or beneficiaries of such access where necessary to ensure normal operation of the network. Obligations to follow specific technical standards or specifications shall be in compliance with the standards and specifications laid down in accordance with Article 17(1) of Directive 2002/21/EC (Framework Directive).