How does BEREC work?

Basis

BEREC was created by the BEREC Regulation which was part of the European Parliament's telecom reform package.

BEREC is formed by representatives of the regulatory authorities of the 28 EU Member States.

Overview

BEREC overview

Board of Regulators

Representatives of the 28 Member States form the Board of Regulators. This board elects one chairperson as well as vice-chairpersons from the BEREC ranks for a one-year term. Before a member can take over the chairmanship, he or she must have already held the vice-chairmanship and, in order to ensure continuity of BEREC's work, the chairperson must continue to hold the vice-chairmanship in the year following his or her term of office.

The Board of Regulators meets at least four times a year at plenary sessions to discuss the issues that are part of the Work Programme and to approve the respective reports on current telecommunications topics. The Chair presides over these sessions. The position papers and reports are prepared by the BEREC Expert Working Groups (EWGs). The EWGs form the basis of the international work and, through their day-to-day work, bring many years of experience and expertise to the work of BEREC.

Management Board

The Management Board consists of the same members as the Board of Regulators, but, additionally, the European Commission has also a voting right, whereas the Commission has only an observer function in the Board of Regulators. In contrast to the Board of Regulators, the Management Board deals with administrative tasks that affect the work of the BEREC Office based in Riga. The Management Board also selects the Administrative Manager of the BEREC Office who is in charge of the BEREC Office in Riga.

BEREC Office

The work of the Board of Regulators and the Management Committee is supported by the BEREC Office, based in Riga. The employees are responsible for administrative matters and answering ad-hoc questions on specific topics from the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council.

The BEREC Office provides administrative support to the Board of Regulators in the preparation of meetings and the Expert Working Groups in their day-to-day work.

Contact Network

The Contact Network is also composed of representatives of the regulatory authorities of all EU Member States. In the Contact Network Meetings, the work assignments of the Work Programme are discussed and possibly modified before they are presented to the Board of Regulators for final approval.

In 2019 the Contact Network will be chaired by Tom Boyce from the Irish NRA ComReg.

BEREC Chair / Mini Board

Jeremy Godfrey, Commissioner of ComReg, was elected BEREC Chair 2019 at the last plenary session in 2017; this means that Ireland will hold the position of BEREC Chair in 2019, Incoming Chair in 2018 and Outgoing Chair in 2020. Chair and Vice-Chairs are elected annually for the following year. 

The so called Mini Board is composed as follows for the year 2019.

  • Chair: Jeromy Godfrey – COMREG
  • Incoming Chair : Dan Sjöblom – PTS
  • Outgoing Chair: Johannes Gungl – RTR
     
  • Vice-Chair: Konstantinos Masselos – EETT
  • Vice-Chair: Tanja Muha – AKOS
  • Vice-Chair: Marcin Cichy – UKE
  • IRG Chair: Elisabeth Aersaether – NKOM

The Mini Board consists of the Chair, the Incoming Chair, the Outgoing Chair and three additional Vice-Chairs. One of these three additional Vice-Chairs will be provided by the countries with observer status at BEREC. The additional Vice-Chairs support the Troika (Chair, Incoming and Outgoing Chair) in their strategic work. Usually each Vice-Chair is responsible for a specific topic.

The Mini Board meets twice a year and regularly before the plenary sessions to discuss current topics on the telecommunications markets and to ensure the implementation of the Work Programme.

BEREC Obligatory Meetings

Each year there are four Plenary Meetings and four preparatory meetings for these plenary sessions ("Contact Network Meetings" / "CN Meetings").

The two-thirds majority applies at all BEREC Plenary Meetings. Member states shall be represented by the Executive Director of the national regulatory authority, who shall also exercise the right to vote for the Member State. Both the European Commission and the representation of the EEA States have observer status at these meetings.

The Contact Network Meetings and Plenary Meetings always take place alternately in other Member States.

After the plenary sessions a "public debriefing" in which the main results of the meeting are reported is held at the EC’s premises in Brussels. These debriefing sessions are open to the public. There is also a live stream for the interested public. BEREC's Twitter account or per e-mail can be used to ask the BEREC Chair questions about the results and presentations in real time. The videos are made available on Youtube after the event.

What are Expert Working Groups (EWGs)?

Expert Working Groups (EWGs) are working groups that deal with the topics of the BEREC Work Programme. A major target of the EWGs’ work is the harmonisation of the telecom markets in Europe. The work of the EWGs includes commenting on decisions, recommendations and directives of the European Commission as well as developing guidelines for the implementation of the EU regulatory framework. BEREC also answers ad-hoc questions from the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council. In total, there are nine Expert Working Groups that are permanently installed, plus two ad-hoc groups that only take up their work for ad-hoc inquiries.

The working groups are chaired by two equal Co-Chairs, who ensure that the work assigned to the respective working group is forwarded to the Board of Regulators in a timely manner. The working groups process the work in so called drafting groups.

The BEREC Expert Working Groups are of great importance to RTR, as the work in these groups gives RTR the opportunity to play an active role in shaping topics that are also important for the Austrian market.

What role do the EWGs play for RTR?

In the "Fixed Network Evolution" and "Roaming" EWGs, RTR holds the Chair/Co-Chair position. The Co-Chairs are responsible for the coordination of the work and the timely delivery of the respective work orders and also play an active role in the development of the BEREC Work Programme and the BEREC Medium-term Strategy.

In which Expert Working Groups are RTR employees involved and in which function?

EWGCo-ChairDrafterMember
Fixed Network EvolutionXXX
RoamingXXX
Regulatory Framework XX
Open Internet XX
Planning and Future Trends XX
Market and Economic Analysis XX
End Users XX
Statistics and Indicators XX
Wireless Network Evolution XX
Remedies XX
Ad hoc Communications Group XX

RTR is represented in all working groups as a "member" and comments on all drafts resulting from the respective draft groups.

In addition, RTR experts also work in all working groups as drafters. Drafter refers to members of a working group in a drafter group who are directly involved in the drafting process of the documents.

Reimbursement of travel expenses for EWG experts

The intensive involvement in the work of BEREC and the presence in the different working groups incur travel costs. However, these are almost entirely taken over by the BEREC Office in Riga and thus financed by the European Union.

Which topics are dealt with by which EWG?

The tasks of the Work Programme are distributed among the different Working Groups. The work for 2019 is assigned to the respective Working Groups according to the list below.

Fixed Network Evolution

  • BEREC Report on pricing for access to infrastructure and civil works

  • BEREC Report on access to physical infrastructure in market analyses

  • BEREC Guidelines on the criteria for a consistent application of Article 61(3) (Concentration point etc.)

  • BEREC Guidelines on very high capacity networks

  • BEREC Guidelines on common approaches to the identification of the network termination point in different network topologies

Roaming

  • BEREC Opinion on the functioning of the roaming market, as input to the Commission's evaluation on the functioning of that market 

  • BEREC Guidelines to assess the parameters to ensure the sustainability of the domestic pricing model

  • BEREC Input to the European Commission regarding the implementing acts setting out the weighted average of maximum mobile termination rates across the Union

  • 7th BEREC Report on transparency and comparability of international roaming tariffs

  • 22nd BEREC International Roaming Benchmark Data Report

Regulatory Framework

  • BEREC Guidelines on the general authorisation notifications transmitted to competent authorities

  • BEREC Guidelines on common criteria for the assessment of the ability of undertakings other than ECN or ECS to manage numbering resources and the risk of exhaustion of numbering resources

  • BEREC Opinions, Reports, position and input papers, technical background analyses, depending on specific requests by the EU Institutions and on needs emerging during the implementation process 

  • Database of E.164 numbers, pending communication with CEPT/ECO

  • Database of numbering resources with a right of extraterritorial use within the European Union

  • Update to the BEREC Rules of Procedure and the Internal Guidelines for the operation of BEREC Expert Working Groups

  • Rules on the application of Regulation 1049/2001 and Measures regarding personal data for Regulation 45/2001

Open Internet

  • BEREC Net Neutrality measurement tool

  • Update to the BEREC Guidelines on Net Neutrality

  • BEREC Report on the implementation of the Net Neutrality Regulation

Planning and Future Trends

  • BEREC Study on the determinants of investment in very high capacity networks

  • BEREC Report on the impact of 5G on regulation and the role of regulation in enabling the 5G ecosystem

Market and Economic Analysis

  • BEREC Report on the Data Economy

  • BEREC Guidelines to foster the consistent application of the criteria for assessing co-investments in very high capacity network elements

  • BEREC Opinion on the review of EC Recommendation on relevant markets

End Users

  • BEREC Report on termination of contract and switch of provider

  • BEREC input to Commission Implementing Act on Contract summary template

  • BEREC Guidelines detailing QoS parameters of IAS and publicly available ICS and the publication of information

  • BEREC report on Member States’ best practices in respect of defining the adequate broadband IAS, which all consumers can access at an affordable price

  • Workshop to move towards a vision for Europe’s telecoms consumers

Statistics and Indicators

  • BEREC Report on Internet of Things Indicators

  • BEREC Guidelines to assist NRAs on the consistent application of Geographical surveys of network deployments

  • BEREC Report on the harmonised collection of data from both Authorised Undertakings and OTT operators

  • BEREC input to the Commission’s delegated act setting single EU-wide maximum MTR and FTR

  • BEREC Report on Termination Rates at European level

  • BEREC input to the European Commission’s methodology on the pricing of bundles

Wireless Network Evolution

  • BEREC Common Position on infrastructure sharing

  • BEREC Guidelines on how to assess the effectiveness of public warning systems transmitted by different means

  • BEREC Report on the impact of 5G on regulation and the role of regulation in enabling the 5G ecosystem

Remedies

  • BEREC Guidelines on the minimum criteria for a reference offer relating to obligations of transparency

  • BEREC Report on Regulatory Accounting in Practice