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Regulatory framework of the European Union in the field of electronic communications is being reviewed

15.09.2016

The new package to reform the rules of the European Union (EU) in the field of electronic communications was presented by the European Commission on September 14, 2016. It is a set of initiatives and legislative proposals to implement the Strategy for Digital Single Market, which envisage ambitious reform of rules on electronic communications, new initiatives for Internet connectivity and improving European competitiveness.

One of the new strategic objectives by 2025 is schools, universities, research and transport centers , as well as public service providers to have access to the internet with notably high speed (allowing users to download / upload data volume of 1 Gbps). Currently, such speed access to the global network is a privilege for a relatively small percentage of users.

It is envisaged that all European households in both rural and urban areas, have access to the internet with download speed of at least 100 Mbps. At present so fast internet enjoy only the residents of large cities in Europe.

By 2025, in all urban areas, along all major roads and railways should have continuous coverage of fifth generation of wireless communication systems 5G. As an interim objective by 2020, 5G should be on the market of at least one major city in each EU country.

For the implementation of the strategic objectives, the European Commission proposes a new European Code on electronic communications. It is aimed at simple rules under which all enterprises will more attractive to invest in new high-quality infrastructure across the EU. The Code provides for better consumer protection. The updated rules shall facilitate the shift of the provider when people have subscribed to a package of services (a combination of Internet, telephone, television, mobile services, etc.). There have been guaranteed the rights of the elderly, the disabled and welfare recipients to conclude an internet contract at affordable prices.

For new entrants into the Internet services market such as social platforms and mobile applications for messaging and calls, will also apply policies to enhance the safety of the online environment. They will have to provide an opportunity for users through such online services to call freely 112 - the number for EU emergency calls.

The proposed legislative initiatives and in particular the new European Electronic Communications Code are essential for the development of the sector in Bulgaria and are enshrined in the preliminary national priorities for the forthcoming Bulgarian Presidency of the EU from January 1, 2018 when it is expected to complete the negotiation process on them.

In this regard, the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications (MTITC) invites interested persons to submit views and comments on the Commission proposal for a  European Electronic Communications Code by e-mail: mail@mtitc.government.bg

The text of the Commission proposal for an European Electronic Communications Code can be found at the following address:

https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/proposed-directive-establishing-european-electronic-communications-code

Given the significance of the legislative proposal of the European Commission, MTITC organizes a meeting with all interested parties on October 11, 2016 in the premises of the Ministry at № 9, "Dyakon Ignatiy" Str.

Contact Person: Ms. Petya Chakarova - Junior Expert in “Communications” Directorate, tel.: 02 949 2227, e-mail: pchakarova@mtitc.government.bg