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Minister Berner to attend the EU Telecommunications Council meeting

Minister Berner to attend the EU Telecommunications Council meeting

Press release 30.11.2016 14.39 fi sv en

Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner will represent Finland at the European Union Telecommunications Council meeting on 2 December 2016 in Brussels. The Council is expected to agree on a general approach to a proposal on regulating wholesale roaming markets in the EU.

The Council will hold a policy debate on the reform of the regulatory framework for electronic communications. It will also discuss the promotion of internet connectivity in local communities and take note of a progress report on cross-border parcel delivery services.

It is Finland's view that the proposal for a regulation on wholesale roaming markets will play an important role in the feasibility of the new roaming regulations that are to be applied as of next summer. The new roaming regulation aims to abolish the surcharges, in terms of fair use, imposed on customers travelling in the EU. In order to achieve the goal, wholesale roaming charges between telecom operators must be sufficiently regulated.

The Presidency proposes a gradually decreasing price ceiling for data starting next summer from EUR 1.0 c/MB and decreasing to EUR 0.5 c/MB by summer 2021. Finland considers the price ceiling to be too high; as such it would likely increase the consumer prices of Member States. In Finland's view the sustainability mechanism for wholesale prices that is included in the proposal is not good due to its complexity.

In conjunction with the Council, Finland together with like-minded Member States will issue a joint political declaration with the main aim of significantly decreasing the wholesale price ceilings.

The Council will discuss a progress report on a proposal for cross-border parcel delivery services. Finland is in favour of the Commission's goal to promote the digital internal market within the Union. Finland does not consider additional regulation feasible for achieving the goal but would prefer more flexible alternatives, like self-regulation.

The Council aims for a partial general approach on the proposal for promoting internet connectivity in local communities. Finland is in favour of the regulation proposal, provided that it will not interfere too much with market-based operations.

In addition to the Telecommunications Council, Minister Berner will take part in an unofficial meeting of telecommunications ministers that will discuss the Free Flow of Data Initiative to be issued by the Commission.

Inquiries during the meeting:

Director-General Mikael Nyberg, tel. +358 40 837 8794

Senior Officer Maaria Mäntyniemi, tel. +358 50 444 0922