• The future Law will transpose into the Spanish legal system the European code of electronic communications adopted in 2018.
  • As main novelties, the scope of the regulation is broadened to include interpersonal communication services not based on numbering or messaging, the concept of universal service is modernized, as well as the rights of users, the capabilities of the services of emergency communications and the rules regarding radio spectrum management are revised in order to promote the deployment of 5G networks and other innovative services
  • The renewal of the Telecommunications Law is one of the projects included in the Spain Digital 2025 strategy to promote connectivity, the cornerstone of digital transformation throughout the national territory

Today the public hearing period has begun for the Draft General Telecommunications Law (APL), to which contributions may be made until October 13 on the website of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation.

The future Law will carry out the transposition into the Spanish legal system of Directive (EU) 2018/1972 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of December 11, 2018, which establishes the European code of electronic communications.

The processing and approval of a new General Telecommunications Law is one of the commitments of the "Digital Spain 2025" strategy in the field of connectivity, the cornerstone of digital transformation.

The draft includes the regulation not only of electronic communications services, but also aspects related to telecommunications equipment, common telecommunications infrastructures in buildings and all uses of the public radioelectric domain.

As a novelty, for the first time interpersonal communication services not based on numbering or messaging are regulated. Administrative obligations are imposed, such as registration in the Registry of Operators and the obligation to observe security measures in accordance with the risks of their differentiated nature with respect to traditional services.

The health crisis of COVID-19 has put telecommunications networks in value, so the draft pays special attention to favoring access under equal conditions and in affordable conditions to electronic communications with the renewal and flexibility of the universal service.

On the one hand, certain elements such as phone booths and directories are eliminated. On the other, it is included that the access speeds guarantee the functional provision of certain essential digital services such as email, online news or internet banking. Likewise, to guarantee affordability and at the same time the user's ability to choose, the possibility of universal service being provided by all operators is established.

With regard to user rights, the Community harmonization provided for in the Code is carried out, by reinforcing the transparency of contracts, limiting their duration and regulating, for the first time, service packages. It also expands rights in the field of mobile portability and accessibility obligations for users with disabilities.

The standard also strengthens the capabilities of emergency communications services. The possibilities for action and information that will facilitate a more effective 112 service to the Autonomous Communities are expanded. Specifically, new facilities are introduced for the development of warning systems for the population in the event of major disasters or emergencies and to have a more precise location of people who make calls to 112.

Also as a novelty, a revision of the rules relating to the management of the radioelectric spectrum is included, with the aim of facilitating the deployment of 5G networks and other innovative wireless services. The most important of these reforms is the determination of a minimum duration of 20 years for the licenses associated with limitative uses of spectrum.

Finally, it should be noted that the draft law substantially preserves the Spanish legal framework regarding support for the deployment of infrastructures, which has led to private investment and the development in Spain of the most extensive fiber optic network in Europe. , and was taken as a model for the European Code of Electronic Communications.

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