Press release - BEREC delivers on the first tasks under the European Electronic Communications Code

Document number: BoR (19) 53
Document date: 18.03.2019
Date of registration: 18.03.2019
Document type: BEREC Press Releases
Author: BEREC

BEREC guidelines on intra-EU communications

In the light of the new European Electronic Communications Code, the Board of Regulators of the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) adopted guidelines on intra-EU communications, starting to fulfil the tasks entrusted to it by the co-legislators.

From 15 May, a new EU Regulation means operators must offer tariffs to consumers with a maximum charge of €0.19 a minute for intra-EU calls and €0.06 per intra-EU SMS (excluding VAT).

BEREC has issued guidelines on how the new rules should be applied. The main points of the guidelines include:

  • Making it clear that the obligation applies to fixed and mobile calls and SMS tariffs offered to consumers, but that tariffs for business customers are excluded
  • Consumers can also be offered alternative tariffs, which do not comply with the caps, but consumers must opt in. In the case of consumers already on alternative tariffs having higher than the price cap prices, they must opt in within 2 months or be moved to a standard tariff
  • The guidelines specify the criteria and benchmarks that NRAs should use in assessing applications for derogation from the price caps
  • The guidelines also provide a template for NRAs to use when monitoring the market and price developments, so that BEREC can report to the Commission

 “The guidelines on intra-EU communications give clarity to operators, regulators and consumers alike. There has been a very short time between adoption of the Regulation on intra-EU communications and it coming into force. Experts from BEREC have worked intensely on the guidelines, and have addressed a broad range of issues that operators considered needed to be clarified. The success of this work demonstrates the value of using experts from national regulatory agencies to develop detailed rules for the sector” said Jeremy Godfrey, 2019 BEREC Chair.

BEREC has developed a video to explain consumers the difference between “Roaming Like At Home” and intra-EU communications and the benefits of the regulations.

To inform audience on the topic, please request for original file sending email .

Development of BEREC Work Programme

During the 38th BEREC ordinary meeting the Board of Regulators also agreed, that in future the development process of the BEREC Work Programme shall be changed. Therefore, a document providing guidelines on the timing and requirement for each of the steps in the process was adopted. The new approach envisages moving to three years horizon and enhance an early engagement with stakeholders in gathering the ideas for new projects.

Speaking earlier, Jeremy Godfrey said: “The new planning process will enable BEREC to better plan its priorities and will create additional opportunities for stakeholders to influence our Work Programmes. Multi-annual programming also makes it easier for us to allow adequate time for stakeholder engagement in individual projects.”

The new approach in developing the BEREC Work Programme also includes consulting stakeholders on a draft multi-annual Work Programme with a detailed programme for the following year in September rather than mid-October as at present. The process will be adopted for 2020 and beyond.

Terminating contracts and switching providers

Exploring new ways to boost consumer empowerment is one of BEREC five strategic priorities. This focus on increasing consumer empowerment and engagement is to ensure consumers have the information and tools to make informed choices and engage effectively with the market. BEREC Report on Terminating Contracts and Switching Provider provides relevant information collated from NRAs on the approach to switching across different communications services, legislative frameworks key factors, and biggest obstacles that consumers face in in each Member State when switching or terminating their contracts.

BEREC Report on Internet of Things (IoT) indicators

Given the growth in the Internet of Things and consequential requirements for network resources, there is a need for BEREC to reflect the importance of this sector in its work. BEREC Report on Internet of Things indicators assesses what type of measurement of IoT National Regulatory Authorities are already conducting on the supply-side, and assesses if there is, at this stage, any common set of IoT-related indicators which BEREC or  NRAs could regularly collect in the coming years (possibly from 2019 onwards or later). 

A full list of public documents adopted at the 38th ordinary meetings is available on the BEREC website. The 39th BEREC Plenary will take place on June 12th 2019 in Ghent, Belgium.

The outcomes of the ordinary meeting were presented during the public debriefing. BEREC Chair Jeremy Godfrey replied to the questions from the audience and social media.
View the full post plenary debriefing on the BEREC website.