25 July 2003

Imogen Fisher

The new directives expressly repeal some antecedent provisions. They also expressly extend the life of other provisions, in most cases to accommodate the time it will take to introduce replacements which comply with the new rules.


The following provisions are expressly repealed:

  • Directive 90/387/EEC, the ONP Framework Directive designed to harmonise access to and use of public telecommunications networks and services and ensure a minimum set of services and interconnection to public telecommunications services.
  • Directive 90/388/EEC of 28 June 1990 on competition in the markets for telecommunications services as amended by Directives 95/51/EC, 96/2/EC, 96/19/EC, 99/64/EC.
  • Council Decision 91/396/EEC of 29 July 1991 on the introduction of a single European emergency call number.
  • Council Directive 92/44/EEC of 5 June 1992 on the application of open network provision to leased lines.
  • Council Decision 92/264/EEC of 11 May 1992 on the introduction of a standard international telephone access code in the Community.
  • Directive 97/13/EC, the Licensing Directive which put in place procedures for the granting of authorisations for the provision of telecommunications services and/or the operation of such networks.
  • Directive 97/33/EC, the Interconnection Directive which established a framework so that telecoms networks within the EU could interconnect ensuring the provision of a universal service in a competitive market.
  • Directive 98/10/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 1998 on the application of open network provision (ONP) to voice telephony and on universal service for telecommunications in a competitive environment.

Extension pending market reviews

The main obligations imposed on operators with Significant Market Power (SMP) will have continuing effect, even though the directives which introduced them have themselves been repealed, until market reviews have been completed and new obligations introduced. This means:

  • rules on interconnection, non-discrimination and transparency, charges and cost accounting, accounting separation, collocation and facility sharing, numbering, publication of access to information, and carrier selection or pre-selection under the Interconnection Directive 97/33/EC
  • special network access and retail price control under the Revised Telephony Directive 98/10/EC
  • regulation of charges, cost accounting, publication of information, supply conditions, minimum obligations and general rights to intervene under the Leased Lines Directive 92/44/EC

Operators who were obliged to offer local loop unbundling under the old rules, will continue to have this obligation until the market reviews have been completed.

Existing Authorisations

The new Authorisation Directive provides that existing authorisations must be bought into line with the new regulation by 25 July 2003 but where this results in a reduction of rights or an extension of obligations compared to current licences, Member States may, after consultation with the Commission keep those rights or obligations in place for a further 9 months.

In extreme circumstances, where an operator has had the benefit of access conditions in another operator’s licence and those obligations would now otherwise be disappearing, and if agreement has not been reached between the operators over how to accommodate the loss of rights commercially, the NRA could have asked the Commission for a temporary prolongation of the licence condition pending agreement. The NRA’s right to make this request – and the deadline for the failure of negotiations if an extension is to be sought – is 25th July.