European regulation and the telecoms market face new challenges: Europe is falling behind in international comparisons.
Over the past few years international investors have looked at the European telecoms industry with rising caution; major investments for new electronic infrastructure are increasingly channelled to North America and Asia. Investors have been losing interest in Europe, a fact that considerably slows down network expansion. As a result, Europe is increasingly falling behind on a global scale, with its attractiveness declining and the pace of innovation slowing down.
In hammering out a strategy for the medium term, BEREC has therefore been addressing the fundamental changes in the ecosystem of the telecoms industry for more than one year, focussing in particular on investigating the competitive relationship between traditional telecommunications providers and so called “over-the-top players”. This strategic discussion is usually referred to as “Regulation 2.0". In the first phases of the telecoms market liberalisation ("Regulation 1.0"), the market opening was regulated by providing network access and abandoning monopolies. These days we face an increasing number of absolutely new and unregulated market participants, i.e. over-the-top players operating on the basis of all-IP networks, that enter the market; we have to deal with manifold aspects of the quality of services, need to increase the demand side and promote intermodal competition while creating effective stimuli for boosting infrastructure expansion in Europe.
Against this backdrop, Georg Serentschy, Managing Director of RTR’s Telecommunications and Postal Services Division, has engaged in many discussions at European level - including talks with Vice President Neelie Kroes – with the aim to define strategic approaches to enhance confidence in the European telecoms industry. After her often cited announcement of 12 July 2012 (http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/12/554&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en) Neelie Kroes asked Georg Serentschy to submit his ideas and concepts to her.
In this context it has to be noted that the ideas set out in the "Regulation 2.0" document are the personal contributions of Georg Serentschy towards a discussion of a European policy and do not constitute the official position of BEREC or aim at prejudging any decision of the Austrian Telekom-Control Commission (TKK).