European Electronic Communications Code and the BEREC Regulation published in the EU's Official Journal
17 December 2018
On Monday, 17 December 2018, Directive (EU) 2018/1972 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 establishing the European Electronic Communications Code (hereinafter: Directive, Code) and Regulation (EU) 2018/1971 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 establishing the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and the Agency for Support for BEREC (BEREC Office), amending Regulation (EU) 2015/2120 and repealing Regulation (EC) No. 1211/2009 were published in the Official Journal of the EU (L321).
Both legal acts come into force on the third day after the publication, i.e. 20 December 2018. The Regulation will apply directly, whereas the Directive requires implementation into national law - Member States will have two years to do that.
Texts of both legal acts in Polish are available here. Versions in English are available here.
European Electronic Communications Code
The new Directive will replace the current EU regulatory framework for electronic communications (Directives: 2002/21/EC – framework, 2002/19/EC on access, 2002/20/EC on authorisation, and 2002/22/EC on universal service, as amended).
The Code contains solutions aimed at encouraging competition and stimulating investments in very high capacity networks, as well as fostering the development of 5G network. The Directive introduces new regulations on issues such as the allocation of radio spectrum, access of operators to the network and symmetric regulation of all network providers under certain circumstances.
The Code will also strengthen consumer protection. For example, thanks to the amended definition of electronic communication services, regulations on consumer protection will also apply to instant messengers. The purpose of the regulations is to provide all citizens with access to inexpensive communication services, including universal access to the internet, and to increase their protection in emergency situations, including retrieving more accurate caller location in emergency situations, broadening the scope of emergency communications, and establishing a system to transmit public warnings on mobile phones.
The new BEREC Regulation introduces changes to the functioning of the body that brings together national regulators from the EU Member States and strengthens its role in the consistent application of the regulatory rules resulting from the Code.
Furthermore, it introduces an amendment to Regulation 2015/2120 to regulate intra-Union communication services. New rates for consumers, no more than 19 eurocents per minute of an international voice call in the EU and no more than 6 eurocents per SMS, will apply from 15 May 2019.