MEPs propose Europe-wide telecoms regulator

If approved, the 'Body of European Regulators in Telecommunications' would have to be consulted by national regulators before they could make major telecoms decisions

An organisation encompassing Europe's national telecommunications regulators should be set up to ensure the harmonisation of spectrum use and other telecoms issues across the continent, the European Parliament's industry committee has said.

The MEPs involved in the committee said in a statement on Tuesday that a Body of European Regulators in Telecommunications (BERT) should be established as an alternative to the European Telecom Market Authority (ETMA), which has been proposed by the European Commission.

If approved and convened, BERT would co-ordinate mobile broadband spectrum and fixed-line next-generation access (NGA), as well as dealing with the spectrum that will be freed up by the digital switchover.

The committee has made amendments to the draft Electronic Communications Framework Directive, and has now asked the Commission to make a legislative proposal for a "radio spectrum action programme", the statement said.

The directive would, if adopted, "require member states to ensure that any technology or any service can use any frequency available for electronic communications services, in line with national frequency allocation plans and with the International Telecommunication Union's Radio Regulations", according to the statement.

National regulators such as Ofcom may have to report to the putative body, the statement continued. "MEPs propose a new 'co-regulation' procedure which would require national regulatory authorities to consult the Commission and BERT before taking regulatory decisions. The Commission may require the national regulatory authority to amend the draft measure if BERT considers the measure inappropriate or ineffective."

The committee stressed that BERT would not deal with issues relating to network and information security, as such tasks are in the remit of the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA).

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