More Liberal Voices. LFMI Responds to Public Consultation on Regulatory Framework for Electronic Communications Networks and Services

The Lithuanian Free Market Institute has analysed the regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services and  submitted its response to public consultation process on the evaluation and the review of the regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services.

The objective of the Consultation

The review of the regulatory framework for electronic communications is one of the 16 actions of the Digital Single Market Strategy adopted by the Commission on 6 May 2015 and the key element for creating the right conditions for digital networks and services to flourish (the second pillar of the Strategy). In accordance with the Commission’s Work Programme for 2015, the review will be preceded by the evaluation of a Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT) aimed at assessing whether or not the current regulatory framework is “fit for purpose.”

LFMI’s response in brief

General questions on the current regulatory framework and the universal service regime

  • Public investment is based on a wrong assumption that private sector faces a market failure and cannot provide sufficient quality and coverage of internet connection in some areas;
  • Public investment into high speed internet connection infrastructure might not be economically justified and might lead to stifled innovations and investment in the private sector;
  • If the Commission decides to invest into high speed internet connection infrastructure, it is of major importance to ensure possibilities of competition and cooperation with the private sector.

Spectrum Policy

  • Spectrum allocation will benefit from a greater role for market forces. Relaxing usage requirements and trading limitations to allow for secondary markets to emerge would be a way to achieve this.

Sector-specific regulation for communications services

  • Regulation of specific sectors should focus on the wellbeing of consumers rather than a regulatory-level playing field;
  • New over-the-top interpersonal communication service providers should not be put under the same regulations that apply to traditional telecom service providers.