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European Electronic Communications Code

The new Directive 2018/1972 of 11 December 2018 establishing the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) entered into force on 20 December 2018. It must be transposed by Member States by 21 December 2020. The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment is taking the lead in the transposition of this cornerstone file of the European Digital Single Market.

The European Electronic Communications Code (the Code) represents a revision of the entire EU regulatory framework for the telecommunications sector. It will repeal and replace the Framework Directive, the Authorisation Directive, the Access Directive and the Universal Services Directive.

Aims of the Code

The electronic communications sector had seen rapid development in the 10 years since the previous European regulatory framework was established, including the emergence of Over the Top (OTT) players to challenge the traditional telecommunications market, increased demand for connectivity globally requiring an increase in High Capacity Networks (HCN) and the development of next generation mobile connectivity (such as 5G).

These changes required a review of the legislative framework for the telecommunications sector to make it fit for the digital age and to provide a regulatory landscape in which Europe's electronic communications sector could thrive.

To achieve this, the Code updates the following key areas:

  • The end-user rights enjoyed by consumers of electronic communications services in the Union
  • The Universal Services regime applicable to electronic communications
  • The rules governing the assignment and use of radio spectrum
  • The regime governing access to infrastructure obligations on operators deemed to have Significant Market Power
  • Expansion of scope of the regulatory framework to include new market players

Further information on the EECC can be found on the European Commission website.

Anyone looking for information on Ireland's transposition of the EECC should email tprd@dccae.gov.ie.