Hungary’s National Media and Infocommunications Authority (NMHH) is announcing a public consultation in conjunction with the revision to the EU’s Regulatory framework for electronic communications

3 July 2015

Commencing today, NMHH announces a public consultation on 24 telecommunications regulatory issues organised into six topics. Open to responses until 10 September 2015, the media authority’s consultation aims to elicit the position of industry and all other stakeholders concerning key electronic communications trade issues with a view to informing Hungary’s position in preparation for the EU negotiations scheduled for the first half of 2016, vis-à-vis the EU’s Regulatory framework for electronic communications. The new regulations are expected to be approved in 2018, and will have to be transposed into the respective national legal systems commencing 2020.

According to the media authority’s summary document compiled for the consultation, the three pivotal instruments among which the most expedient balance must be established include sectorial regulation, regulation of ex-post competition as well as co- and self-regulation. NMHH’s position is that the upcoming 2016 EU revision offers an opportunity for member states to get ready for new market challenges and to develop new regulatory approaches. Since the most recent revision held in 2009, new market entrants, new services and new technological solutions have emerged, necessitating a new type of regulation. The most popular communications channels and content consumption habits have changed significantly. Interactivity, mobility and machine-to-machine communications are making significant inroads. There is an ever-growing demand for increased bandwidth and more robust data security as well as convergence, integration, and interdependence of components of electronic communications and the digital media value chain. However, the digital divide between certain societal groups has not diminished at the expected rate, even as the impacts of digitalization have not been confined to the electronic communications sector.

Accordingly, fine-tuning definitions used in electronic communications is one topic open for consultation: a group of issues related to Internet access, including a definition of the bandwidth required to foster Hungary’s progress; market regulation and specifically within it pinpointing bottlenecks in the digital media value chain; as well, identifying markets that require less regulation. Another topic is spectrum regulation, including the issue of how much harmonisation member states’ frequency auctions call for with a view to improved resource efficiency. Several issues concern the user side of the consultation. Cases in point are what new standards are necessary, to what extent regulations designed to block harmful online content should be harmonised and how net neutrality issues could be resolved. Numerous data protection topics likewise constitute part of the consultation: What regulation do issues involving data ownership call for? What special regulations should cloud-based applications be subject to? Can electronic communications providers be compelled to collect and store data wholesale?

The preparatory consultation document, including the full list of topics is downloadable as a file attachment. Please submit responses to the media authority by email to NMHH believes that co-operation between domestic industry stakeholders and the media authority could contribute to the creation of a new and modern European regulatory system.