EU cracks down on member states over telecoms laws

The European Commission has kicked off legal proceedings against 20 member states that have not fully implemented new telecoms laws, such as the right to switch operators in a day without changing phone number.On Tuesday, the Commission said it had sent "requests for information" to the 20 states, which do not include the UK.

The European Commission has kicked off legal proceedings against 20 member states that have not fully implemented new telecoms laws, such as the right to switch operators in a day without changing phone number.

On Tuesday, the Commission said it had sent "requests for information" to the 20 states, which do not include the UK. The laws set out in the so-called telecoms package cover fixed-line and mobile phone services, as well as internet access, and were supposed to be transposed into national law by 25 May.

Only the UK, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Malta and Sweden have fully transposed the new rules into national law. Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain have not.

The countries have two months to respond to the Commission's letters. If the Commission is not satisfied with their replies, the ensuing legal process could see the countries referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Apart from number-porting, the telecoms package laws also include regulation of fibre broadband deployments and mobile broadband spectrum usage, and new data breach notification rules. The package also sets out limits on the disconnection from the internet of suspected unlawful file-sharers.

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