|Title:||Directive 2002/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 March 2002 on universal service and users' rights relating to electronic communications networks and services (Universal Service Directive)|
|Topic:||General framework for the regulation of the provision of electronic communications networks and services to end-users, and specifically with a view of ensuring good quality publicly available services|
|Direct / indirect relevance||Indirect. The text contains certain quality and governance requirements which imply an obligation to implement appropriate RM/RA measures with regard to network/information security.|
|Scope:||Directly applicable to all EU Member States|
|Legal force:||EU Directive, requires transposition into national law|
|Affected sectors:||Providers of electronic communications services, electronic communications networks, associated facilities and associated services in the Community|
|Relevant provision(s):||Article 11 - Quality of service of designated undertakings
1. National regulatory authorities shall ensure that all designated undertakings with obligations under Articles 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9(2) publish adequate and up-to-date information concerning their performance in the provision of universal service, based on the quality of service parameters, definitions and measurement methods set out in Annex III. The published information shall also be supplied to the national regulatory authority.
2. National regulatory authorities may specify, inter alia, additional quality of service standards, where relevant parameters have been developed, to assess the performance of undertakings in the provision of services to disabled end-users and disabled consumers. National regulatory authorities shall ensure that information concerning the performance of undertakings in relation to these parameters is also published and made available to the national regulatory authority.
3. National regulatory authorities may, in addition, specify the content, form and manner of information to be published, in order to ensure that end-users and consumers have access to comprehensive, comparable and user-friendly information.
4. National regulatory authorities shall be able to set performance targets for those undertakings with universal service obligations at least under Article 4. In so doing, national regulatory authorities shall take account of views of interested parties, in particular as referred to in Article 33.
5. Member States shall ensure that national regulatory authorities are able to monitor compliance with these performance targets by designated undertakings.
6. Persistent failure by an undertaking to meet performance targets may result in specific measures being taken in accordance with Directive 2002/20/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 March 2002 on the authorisation of electronic communications networks and services (Authorisation Directive)(13). National regulatory authorities shall be able to order independent audits or similar reviews of the performance data, paid for by the undertaking concerned, in order to ensure the accuracy and comparability of the data made available by undertakings with universal service obligations.
Article 13 – Financing of universal service obligations
1. Where, on the basis of the net cost calculation referred to in Article 12, national regulatory authorities find that an undertaking is subject to an unfair burden, Member States shall, upon request from a designated undertaking, decide:
(a) to introduce a mechanism to compensate that undertaking for the determined net costs under transparent conditions from public funds; and/or
(b) to share the net cost of universal service obligations between providers of electronic communications networks and services.
Article 21 – Transparency and publication of information
1. Member States shall ensure that transparent and up-to-date information on applicable prices and tariffs, and on standard terms and conditions, in respect of access to and use of publicly available telephone services is available to end-users and consumers, in accordance with the provisions of Annex II.
2. National regulatory authorities shall encourage the provision of information to enable end-users, as far as appropriate, and consumers to make an independent evaluation of the cost of alternative usage patterns, by means of, for instance, interactive guides.
Article 22 – Quality of service
1. Member States shall ensure that national regulatory authorities are, after taking account of the views of interested parties, able to require undertakings that provide publicly available electronic communications services to publish comparable, adequate and up-to-date information for end-users on the quality of their services. The information shall, on request, also be supplied to the national regulatory authority in advance of its publication.
2. National regulatory authorities may specify, inter alia, the quality of service parameters to be measured, and the content, form and manner of information to be published, in order to ensure that end-users have access to comprehensive, comparable and user-friendly information. Where appropriate, the parameters, definitions and measurement methods given in Annex III could be used.
Article 23 –Integrity of the network
Member States shall take all necessary steps to ensure the integrity of the public telephone network at fixed locations and, in the event of catastrophic network breakdown or in cases of force majeure, the availability of the public telephone network and publicly available telephone services at fixed locations. Member States shall ensure that undertakings providing publicly available telephone services at fixed locations take all reasonable steps to ensure uninterrupted access to emergency services.
|Relevance to RM/RA:||The cited articles impose certain obligations on the providers of public communications networks or publicly available electronic communications services and on the Member States, in order to ensure that the end users have access to good quality electronics communications services, specifically when market developments cannot ensure that certain basic needs are met. Specifically:
• Service providers must ensure that they have sufficient information available to show how the applicable universal service standards are being met, and to what extent; Member States may impose additional requirements and audit for compliance;
• Member States may decide to intervene financially when the provision of universal service to the general public carries a disproportionate cost for the service provider(s);
• Member States must ensure that sufficient transparency is guaranteed with regard to cost and pricing information to comply with universal service requirements, as well as with regard to the quality of such services;
• Member States must ensure the integrity of the public telephone network; and they must ensure that public telephony service providers take all reasonable steps to ensure uninterrupted access to emergency services.
From an RM/RA perspective, the obligations above imply that the affected providers must assess their policies and practices to ensure that they can comply with these obligations.