Feeds

Brussels asks Ofcom boss what he's on about

When bureaucrats attack

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The European Commission has publicly questioned whether the UK's top telecoms regulator has any idea what he's talking about when it comes to, er, telecoms regulation.

In a reponse to Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards' letter to the Financial Times today, the commission said: "We note that Mr Richards takes position against a 'central European telecoms regulator'. In this respect, we really wonder what Mr Richards is talking about."

Oooh, get back in the knife drawer.

Ofcom lashed out in fear the EU will encroach on its UK regulatory turf. Richards warned that a Europe-wide telecoms overseer would stifle market liberalisation efforts.

Viviane Reding, the Luxembourgish information society and media commissioner, will publish plans to reform European telecoms next month. A draft doing the rounds in Brussels proposes a new body that would assume powers currently exercised by national watchdogs.

Richards, funnily enough, favours alternative reforms that would strengthen domestic powers. He wrote today: "The commission, it is said, favours a significant increase in its own powers to determine national regulatory remedies, supported by a new EU-funded super-regulator.

"However, a centralisation of power to Brussels, plus a new European bureaucracy, is not the answer. Harmonisation of regulation works only when it respects the need for national regulators to respond to conditions in their markets."

The commission snapped back: "First of all, Mr Richards does not need to worry: no body in the commission plans to question the existence of Ofcom, the British telecom regulator with its 800 employees.

"Europe is needed in telecoms to change the attitude of national telecom regulators, including Ofcom, to broaden their horizon to better deal with the evolving pan-European telecom market in the interest of fair cross-border competition and in the interest of Europe's consumers. This cannot be done by national regulators. This cannot be done by Ofcom alone."

Richards cites the forthcoming radio spectrum carve-up as a key battleground. He wrote: "The market, not officials, should identify the best uses for this resource. This would stimulate competition across all European markets, while still allowing states to accommodate issues of public interest."

Reding's proposals would need the green light from the majority of member states, plus ratification by the EU parliament to come into effect no earlier than 2009. ®

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Turnbull: NBN won't turn your town into Silicon Valley
'People have been brainwashed to believe that their world will be changed forever if they get FTTP'
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.