(EN) In attach the speech at the AGCOM-ICC Seminar “Digital Europe: European and national policies to drive investments, market development and competition” held in Rome the 12th of January 2016: Speech_Digital Europe_European and national policies to drive investments market development and competition
International Bar Association
26th Annual Communications and Competition Law Conference
Antitrust and regulatory roundtable
London, 11th May 2015
Good morning. Firstly allow me to say how honoured I am to have been invited to share my views to such a qualified audience. This roundtable is a great chance to discuss one of the hottest topics in the electronic communications market.
Why? Because the relationship between communications and competition law is less linear than we expected. In fact, ex ante regulation was considered as temporary (see lastly recital directive 140/2009), but 15 years after their establishment, NRAs are still playing a crucial role in the electronic communications market.
Cloud, M2M and the data economy
What policy and regulatory strategies are needed across Europe to drive roll-out, manage security risks and build trust?
Good morning everybody.
I am very pleased to introduce this panel, and I feel honored to be an active part of this important gathering.
Let we approach the matter discussing the three issues at stake: the data economy, the cloud policy and the M2M.
All the issues present intriguing facets; each of them, most of all, is intertwined.
Thus, my first general observation is that only an encompassing, horizontal perspective can focus the real problems at stake. Correctly, the title of the meeting presents the words “policy” and “regulation”. Why?
Because only a specific and challenging regulatory function can achieve the focal goals of the EU and the ones of the Member States. If we keep in mind our aims, but forget the concrete institutional instruments necessary to achieve them, we are not going to allow the evolution of the sector.
This is not an issue for specialists. Data, cloud and M2M will be able to change our lives and produce complex and systemic societal changes. The entire design of communication and services will have a strong influence on European society. We have to remind this element – i.e. the general, socio-economic implications of our sector’s evolution.
Let’s move, in any case, a deep further, inside the three aspects of our discussion.
I am very glad to open this roundtable, in such an inspiring context. I strongly support initiatives like the Broadband World Forum, as they are a great chance for getting acquainted to new trends and exchanging views about key issues in the market and regulation.
Innovation and regulation
“Regulation is difficult”, states the Royal Academy of Sweden, when explaining its Nobel Prize to Professor Jean Tirole. Jean Tirole’s works have contributed significantly to the understanding of regulated markets, but regulation is still quite complex, especially in an innovative market such as electronic communications. As innovation in electronic communications is still blooming, so is the uncertainty in the market, giving the regulators a hard time.
Also ITU and Unesco acknowledged in their report “The state of broadband 2014” that the rapid evolution in telecommunication access technologies is making network planning even more complex. Innovation is also a great problem solver. You know what I mean: only few years ago, the copper was considered totally out-dated but now, thanks to technological innovation, the copper is taking its revenge on the fiber. According to ITU, “a combination of fibre and G.fast is likely to prove more cost efficient than installing pure FTTH”.
Nowadays even FTTC with vectoring technology can already provide up to 100 Mbit/s in download. Accordingly, in the Explanatory note to the new Recommendation on Relevant Markets, the European Commission has forecast that this technology will play a major role in the coming years.
Internet governance: a case for variable geometry?
Instanbul, September 3rd, 2014
Good morning everybody.
I would first like to thank you for the opportunity to speak in a high-level international meeting like the IGF.
UN framework, and the Forum in particular, represents the most important outcome of a debate on a focal element like the control of the Internet. My gratitude to the UN system is thus in my feelings.
I would like also to thank Mr. Amendola and Telecom Italia for the invitation.
I find the argument very intriguing. The variable geometry approach may help to define a very important target: through the differentiation of responsibilities in the Internet governance, we could balance a wide participation and an effective implementation.
Given that the theme is developed, I will try to discuss the “most hidden” points. The ones that, in my personal view, are still missing.
I will refer to these “unexplored elements” after a brief overview, which reflects also my experience as Commissioner of the Italian Regulatory Authority for Communications (AGCOM).
Topic: Case studies on new types of converged regulators: addressing convergence of media, broadcasting and competition authorities
Technology and customer preferences are blurring the lines between voice and data as well as between telecommunications and content services, thus transcending the boundaries between sectors and creating a new “convergent” environment. These pressures pushed the European Union in the years 2000 to put in place a convergent legal framework, based on technological neutrality and aimed at creating a level playing field among technologies, platforms and operators. This approach should be further pursued.
In Italy the same pressures were tackled by the legislator already in 1997, with the creation of the first converged regulator in Europe: AGCOM.
We are responsible for both carriage and content of the whole communication sector. This was really a forward-looking choice which has been followed at a later stage also by the United Kingdom and other Countries.
A convergent regulator, in fact, has the possibility to resolve important issues, such as consolidation between media content and telecommunications service providers. It can also create regulatory transparency and certainty for investors in the regulated industries.
A recent research by KPMG for African Countries confirms a direct link between a convergent regulator and regulatory transparency, certainty and investment. A further benefit of a multi-sector regulator includes cost savings and the ability to attract higher caliber employees for the regulator due to the wider scope of opportunities and challenges.