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EU executive proposes smaller telecoms authority

European Union regulators plan to create a smaller independent telecoms authority that aims to provide consistent regulation for Europe's telecoms markets, the European Commission said in a statement on Friday.

The new office, which will include staff seconded from national regulators, would have no jurisdiction over spectrum or network security, it said.

EU ministers will on November 27 discuss the Commission's proposal, part of a wider plan to reform the EU's telecoms market that includes ideas for boosting competition, cutting tariffs and giving consumers a wider choice of services.

While the Commission has watered down some of its proposed reform, EU countries and the European Parliament have the final word. The Parliament will debate the package in April 2009.

“The European Telecoms Authority proposed by the Commission will be substantially smaller in size and competences than initially envisaged,” the statement said.

It added that it would be a “lean and efficient” office focusing on telecoms regulation.

The Commission also reaffirmed its previous proposal to entrench the “personal and financial independence of national telecoms regulators” and the power of national regulators to impose functional separation, when required to overcome persistent competition bottlenecks. (Reuters)