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European Electronic Communications Code in force

New laws that aim to bring greater harmonisation to the way telecoms companies and markets are regulated in the EU have entered into force.21 Dec 2018

The directive establishing the European Electronic Communications Code was published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) earlier this week and entered into force on Thursday. The directive needs to be implemented into national laws across the EU before it will have effect. Member states have been given until 21 December 2020 to complete this task.

The new directive, which was finalised earlier this month, addresses a number of areas of telecoms regulation. It sets out rights and obligations regarding the installation and maintenance of mobile phone masts and other telecoms infrastructure, rules on the co-location or sharing of "network elements and facilities" and deployment of radio spectrum, and seeks to ensure everyone in the EU has access to "affordable" broadband.

The directive also provides for regulatory intervention in telecoms markets where companies have significant market power, and will force some telecoms operators to consult with regulators before updating legacy infrastructure.

Security requirements and incident reporting rules for providers of public electronic communications networks or services are also set out in the directive. The legislation also governs what information retail telecoms service providers need to provide in consumer contracts.