The terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU are currently ongoing. However, we expect that there will be a post-Exit implementation period until at least 31 December 2020. During that period, the UK remains subject to the rights and obligations of EU membership; this includes the full transposition of EU directives in domestic law.
The EECC will be transposed by secondary legislation under the anticipated EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2019. At the end of the implementation period, the body of UK law will be amended to correct deficiencies arising from EU Exit. At that point, further legislation will be needed to remove any provisions that are inoperable or redundant given that the UK will no longer have any EU rights and obligations in respect of telecoms. The Government's consultation on the potential the transposition of the EECC has now closed and we are awaiting next steps and possible draft implementing legislation.
Ofcom (the UK regulator) published a series of proposals to implement the 'End User Rights' provisions of the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC). The End-User provisions (Articles 98-116 EECC) require full harmonisation by Member States and Ofcom's proposals set out changes to the administrative rules in the UK that apply to electronic communications service and network providers – so-called General Conditions (GCs). This follows the preliminary UK Government consultation (over the Summer of 2019) on implementing the European Electronic Communications Code (no draft legislation has been published to date). Ofcom's latest proposals to amend the GCs cover a range of issues, including: revised definition, consumer protection requirements and transparency obligation, switching and mobile phone unlocking as well as measures to protect disabled users and emergency video relay. The deadline to respond to the consultation is 3 March 2020. Ofcom intends to publish a final statement by the Summer with final implementation by 21 December 2020 (the deadline for EU Member States to transpose the EECC into national law).
Ofcom has also published separate proposals governing digital comparison tools/accreditation schemes (to ensure the tools are trustworthy, impartial and transparent in line with Article 103 EECC) – the deadline to respond is 28 February 2020
Ronald Hendrikx and Anthony Rosen