Europeans need an internet connection that is fast and reliable to participate in today’s economy and society. The Digital Decade envisions a Europe that takes full advantage of the digital transformation, aiming to have gigabit connectivity and 5G across Europe by 2030.
How does it work?
To advance these objectives and meet Europe’s growing connectivity needs, the EU Electronic Communications Code updates and merges EU telecommunications rules under one regulatory framework designed to boost connectivity and better protect users throughout Europe.
These rules are crucial for achieving Europe's connectivity targets and providing everyone in the EU the best possible internet connection, so they can participate fully in the digital economy.
Higher quality of services
The Code improves connection speeds and coverage by:
- making it more attractive for all companies to invest in new top-quality infrastructures, everywhere in the EU, both locally and across national borders
- making rules for co-investment more predictable and promoting risk sharing in the deployment of very high capacity networks, including 5G networks
- promoting sustainable competition for the benefit of consumers
Better consumer protection
The Code protects consumers irrespective of whether they communicate through traditional (calls, SMS) or web-based services by:
- ensuring that all consumers have access to affordable communications services, including adequate broadband internet access, for services such as eGovernment, online banking, and video calls
- giving equivalent access to communications for end-users with disabilities
- ensuring that international calls within the EU will not cost more than 19 cents per minute
- promoting tariff transparency and comparison of contractual offers, e.g. through contract summaries
- guaranteeing better security against hacking, malware, etc.
- protecting consumers subscribing to bundled service packages
- making it easier to change service provider and keep the same phone number, including rules for compensations if the process goes wrong or takes too long
- increasing protection of citizens in emergency situations, including retrieving more accurate caller location, broadening emergency communications to text messaging and video calls and establishing a system to transmit public warnings on mobile phones
Access to basic communication services is crucial to participate in today’s economy and society.
European electronic communications rules seek to make broadband internet access and voice communications affordable and available throughout Europe through effective competition and choice. Where the needs of consumers are not met by the market, universal service obligations ensure that affordable adequate services are available regardless of personal circumstances like location, income or disability. Broadband internet must have sufficient bandwidth for using important services such as eGovernment, internet banking, and standard quality video calls.
Analysis of relevant markets
The Code also promotes the development of the internal market and competition. In support of these objectives, national authorities regularly analyse relevant markets. The aim is to limit specific market regulation to only when it is strictly necessary for maintaining a competitive and investment-friendly regulatory environment to the benefit of the consumer. Find the latest market overview.
Implementation of the EU Electronic Communications Code
Adopted in 2018, these rules apply to all electronics communication services in the EU. As of 2022, The Code has been adopted by most EU countries, with the Commission supporting the Member States in the implementation process. Moreover, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) has developed a significant number of guidelines, which aim to promote a consistent application of the Code and contribute to its successful implementation.
The Commission will publish its first review of the functioning of the Code at the end of 2025 and follow up with a report every 5 years.
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