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Reding maps out mini-super-regulator

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EU Commissioner Viviane Reding has been mapping out how the new super-regulator will look, and the answer is rather less super than originally envisioned.

Instead of the 130 staff, appointed by the EU and able to ride roughshod over the interests of national regulators, the "Body of the European Telecoms Regulators" will consist of 20 bodies - half of which will be seconded from those very regulators, the other half being appointed.

Other than the change of name - from the rather whimsical BERT - the details contain few surprises following the failure of the original proposal in July. No "regulatory holiday" will be permitted to encourage investment, though that was never very likely, but national regulators will be permitted to enforce a functional separation between the infrastructure and services offered by the dominant operator.

That should prevent the former monopolies obstructing competitors from using their infrastructure, though it remains to be seen how many EU governments and their regulators have the political will to upset their (frequently) close friends in telecommunications by demanding such a division.

The new body will specifically avoid getting involved in radio spectrum issues or network security, which is good to hear.

Slightly more concerning is the reiteration of the EU commitment towards net neutrality - apparently it's a good thing, which will please Google if no-one else. ®

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