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BEREC launches consultations on OTT and IoT

BERECThe Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC), the umbrella organisation for European telecom regulators, has launched consultations on OTT TV and the Internet of Things respectively.

The OTT consultation is based on a draft report that divides OTT services in three categories – OTT-0, electronic communication services (ECS) provided over the open internet; OTT-1, an OTT service that is not an ECS but potentially competes with an ECS; OTT-2, other OTT services provided over the open internet but which do not compete with traditional ECS.

Among other things, the report explores different possible interpretations of whether or not email qualifies as an ECS, whether regulators have the power to collect information on OTT services as part of their analysis of regulated markets, whether there is fair competition between ECS providers and OTT providers, and whether there are adequate laws governing OTT-2 services and the issue of partnerships between electronic communication service providers and OTT service providers.

The Internet of Things report analyses regulatory issues such as access to the technical resources needed for machine-to-machine (M2M) – frequencies, numbers, IP addresses – and analyses whether the current European regulatory framework is adequate. In particular, the report finds that existing European regulation on mobile roaming is difficult to apply to M2M services, and calls for clarifications from European lawmakers and the Commission.

Other issues discussed include whether there is a need for a European numbering system to enable the development of the IoT.

The closing date for the OTT consultation is November 2 and the closing date for the IoT consultation is November 6.

In addition to these consultations, BEREC is consulting on its work programme for next year, which includes reports on migration to all-IP in the access networks, the Phase 3 broadband common positions on unbundling, bitstream and leased lines, the challenges and drivers of NGA rollouts and infrastructure competition, and an outside report on mergers and acquisitions in the electronic communications sector.