Public consultation 11/12 in relation to Article 28(2) Universal Service Directive

Run from 5 October to 16 November 2012

The 2009 EU regulatory framework has introduced a new version of Article 28(2) of the “Universal Service Directive” (hereafter referred to as “USD”). The revised provision establishes the requirement for EU Member States to "ensure that the relevant national authorities are able to require undertakings providing public communications networks and/or publicly available electronic communications services to block, on a case-by-case basis, access to numbers or services where this is justified by reasons of fraud or misuse and to require that in such cases providers of electronic communications services withhold relevant interconnection or other services revenues". Neither of the terms “fraud” nor “misuse” were specifically defined within the USD. As a consequence, when adopting the relevant national legislation transposing EU law, different countries use different definitions for each of these concepts, and this complicates a harmonised European application of this measure, in particular as regards cross-border cases.

Therefore in compliance with its Work Programme 2012 on 27 September 2012 discussed and approved for public consultation a draft report on Article 28(2) Universal Service Directive: a harmonised BEREC cooperation process. The consultation was run from 5 October to 16 November 2012 with the objective to provide BEREC with valuable feedback from all interested parties. In the period of the consultation BEREC received 13 individual contributions from: The Telecommunications United Kingdom Fraud Forum-TUFF; Vodafone; eircom Group; France Telecom – Orange; GSMA Europe; Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW); Verizon; Telecom Italia; Federation of Communication Services (FCS); BT; ETNO and Telekom Austria.

Following the consultation process, BEREC approved a Guidance paper, which highlights the background to fraud or misuse and its potential impact on end-users through falling foul of instances of fraud or misuse, or for example through a potential lack of confidence in the integrity of numbers. The Guidance was approved by BEREC during the 14th meeting of the Board of Regulators, held in Ljubljana on 7 and 8 March 2013. It should be read in conjunction with the comments received by the respondents, provided below (with the exception of the confidential ones) and the Consultation Response Analysis Report.

The whole history of the consultation and its follow-up can be read here.


BEREC Office - Riga

12 March 2013