The existing European telecoms regulatory framework has not undergone any major amendments since 2009. The EU regulatory regime has been overtaken by technological and market changes. And, not only has the outdated regime failed to help the European telecoms sector to overcome the fragmentation of the EU into national markets but, even worse, an inconsistent implementation of EU rules at the Member State level has added to the regulatory uncertainty.

As a result, the European Commission now seeks to achieve a far-reaching overhaul of the current framework as part of its Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy. The new proposed rules would not only affect all operators and providers of traditional electronic communications networks and services, they would also make operators of "over the top" (OTT) communications services subject to telecoms regulation, e.g. services like messaging apps that are provided via the Internet.

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Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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