The much awaited day of the Telecom Council of ministers has now happened and I am pleased to report that an agreement was reached although you will read that Mrs Reding is not very happy with the outcome. Many of the texts which we have been supporting were included, for example with regard to functional separation which was strengthened, and for leveraged dominance, but the Commission opposed the Council text, particularly because there was insufficiently firm wording for the institutional structure (BERT) and for spectrum harmonisation, although these can still be reintroduced by the Parliament for the second reading. The roaming proposals went through smoothly. The termination rate recommendations are only on the Commission agenda but seem to be on track.
The Commission opposition to the Council text meant that it had to be a unanimous vote, rather than a qualified two thirds majority, but those who had indicated reservations ultimately agreed to abstain, and so it was voted through unanimously (excluding abstentions which do not count).
There is much more to report in the fullness of time on the proceedings of the ECTA conference and the Council meeting, which I can cover in Rome. I had lunch with Mrs Trautmann and Matthias Kurth (the Chair Elect for ERG
2009) and others today - it was an interesting balance - Mr Kurth is not very supportive of our views on behalf of business customers so the dialogues with ERG (now the Board of Regulators) will be difficult. He also heads up BNetzA, the German NRA. Mrs Trautmann is quite supportive.
The appointment of the Managing Director of BERT and the objectives and measurements of success for the post and the method of appointment of the staff will be critical to its effectiveness compared with the current ERG.
That's all for now
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