Bird and Bird Regulatory Update

30 May 2002

Sally Trebble

An important month for news:

1. Publication of new EU Directives for electronic communications industries

April, 2002, The EU Official Journal has published - and thus made law - 4 new Directives, which replace the 1998 Directives on which telecoms regulation throughout the EU is currently based. These are:

The Framework Directive

Directive on access and interconnection

Authorisations Directive

Universal Service Directive

2. Publication of the Communications Bill

The UK Government has published the Communications Bill, primary legislation to replace the 1984 Telecommunications Act and parts of the 1990 and 1996 Broadcasting Acts. It is intended that the Communications Act will transpose into UK law the EU Directives referred to above. Issue 2 of the Communications Law Bulletin, due to be published in September, will include an article on the Bill and its expected impact in the UK.

The text of the Bill is available at:

3. Something of interest to anyone providing broadcasting or media content is a study for the ITC by McKinsey, which is a comparative review of content regulation. It concludes (rather predictably) that content regulators are increasingly having to address access issues - ie the content provider's rights to get in front of the viewer on different platforms. This has traditionally been unregulated or a question for telecommunications regulators.

Here is the URL, worth a look if you want an overview of trends, or knowledge of the laws in other jurisdictions: