Reding prods Germans on termination rates info
C'mon, regulator - spill
EU Commissioner Viviane Reding, has written an open letter to the German telecoms regulator to request information about termination rates charged by local operators - information the regulator has so far refused to share.
The regulator, BNetzA, has refused to include termination rates in the last two analyses of the telecommunications market, and Viviane's letter to reminds it that failure to share the info will be considered a breach of at least one EU treaty.
"I strongly advise Bundesnetzagentur to notify the termination rates of the German mobile operators to the Commission without any further delay," states the letter, which makes the point that only with knowledge of the termination rates that mobile operators are charging each other can sensible cross-Europe legislation be drafted.
BNetzA reckons that mobile termination rates don't have to be shared - which depends on one's reading of Article 7, and specifically if mobile termination rates have a cross-border impact and thus must be shared with the commission. If BNetzA refuses to comply then the Commission will "consider opening an infringement proceeding for non-compliance with EU legislation".
Once Reding has the figures from BNetzA the Commission can "comment" on how the regulator is managing those rates. The local regulator is then expected to "take utmost account" of those comments. Italy, for example, promptly introduced a cap in response to comments from the EU, and the rest of Europe has been happy to share the data - so it's hard to see how Germany can justify the zipped lips. ®
You go, girl!
Viviane Reding continues to be one of my personal heroes. I'm not even an EU citizen or permanent resident, yet I feel like she's done way more to improve my lot in life (just a few little things) than pretty much any of my own country's officials have. She actually seems to be using her power to make things fairer for most telephone users instead of the bidding of the telecoms. This behavior is rather odd to me, an American.
German mobile termination rates are a mystery to us Auslanders, and probably to most Germans. It does seem to have one huge advantage: telemarketing, which is rare enough on landlines here, pretty much does not involve mobiles.