Feeds

Reding demands super-regulator to thwart US telco domination

Viv not beaten yet

SANS - Survey on application security programs

EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding has been telling delegates at the Summit of the European Telecommunications Networks in Venice that letting the EU regulate their industries will save €20bn a year, and is just what the Americans want.

Efficiency isn't something that comes quickly to mind when considering EU bodies, but Ms Reding is adamant that without an EU regulator American companies will have an advantage with their single market and continent-wide businesses.

The speech compares the break-up of the national monopolies to the dismantling of AT&T in the USA, while noting that the EU approach has been to slowly introduce competing companies rather than forcibly breaking up the monopoly (though a nice diagram of the results of the US break-up has just been produced by neat-o-rama).

Continuing this analogy, the good commissioner reckons the EU is only halfway there, with unification of the regulatory bodies an obvious next step.

Her argument is largely based around the idea that companies can't operate across Europe without a single regulator, and thus suffer compared to their US equivalents that only have to answer to the FCC. This argument is rather undermined by the fact that between them Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Telefonica and Orange have three out of four EU citizens as customers, the four dominant providers apparently coping fine with 27 separate regulators.

Of course, Deutsche Telekom is more than 30 per cent owned by the German Government, while the French have a similar stake in France Telecom (owners of Orange), which isn't ideal.

Reding also points out that some regulators are clearly acting in a political, rather than regulatory, manner. "Operators will be hesitant to invest in the promising Romanian market if the chief of the national telecoms regulator can be fired twice within three years, followed each time by a complete reorganisation of the national regulatory authority by Government Emergency Decree!" But whether the poor performance of one regulator justifies an overriding EU force is another matter entirely.

The problem is that the EU is not a single country, and the approach to regulation cannot be unified without adopting an EU culture. For example, Viviane Reding would see radio spectrum reserved for watching TV on mobile phones, across Europe, in an arrangement that would cost industry a lot more than €20bn if it turns out no one wants to watch TV on the move.

National regulators will fight tooth and nail for control of their national airwaves, but Reding is fighting a long-term battle - and while the regulators must constantly defend their position, the EU only has to win this argument once. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.