Trade bodies ask EC to stop broadband regulation review

'Massive extension of regulation'

The UK government's advisory broadband group BSG and Intellect, the IT industry lobby group, have teamed up to ask the European Commission to stop its review of broadcast legislation.

The EC recently pledged to look again at the TV Without Frontiers Directive which aims to regulate new forms of broadcasting.

But the Broadband Stakeholders Group and Intellect consider the proposals: premature, unjustified, inappropriate and unworkable.

Philip Graf, chairman of the BSG, said: "The broadcasting world is entering a period of rapid change and the regulatory framework will need to be amended, but this blanket regulatory approach is absolutely not the way to do it. These proposals would lead to a massive extension of EU regulation to cover all audio-visual content services, in some cases would catch online services, such as newspapers, that are beyond the EU’s competence."

Anthony Walker, director for the knowledge economy at Intellect, said his members were worried that the proposals will stifle growth of the content and new media market in Europe. He said: "New audio-visual content services, made possible through innovation in digital technology and the internet, should be given time to evolve and develop rather than being shackled by premature and unnecessary regulation intervention by the EU"

The groups want the EC to restart the consultation process and conduct an impact study into the proposed legislation.

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