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Markets in telecommunications services and information: competition in the markets in telecommunications terminal equipment

The purpose of this Directive is to liberalise the markets in telecommunications terminal equipment. It provides for the abolition of special or exclusive rights to import, market, connect, bring into service and maintain telecommunications terminal equipment.

ACT

Commission Directive 88/301/EEC of 16 May 1988 on competition in the markets in telecommunications terminal equipment. [See amending acts].

SUMMARY

Member States are to withdraw any special or exclusive rights to import, market, connect, bring into service and maintain telecommunications terminal equipment * which they have granted to public or private bodies.

Except in certain special cases (absence of technical specifications or the technical qualifications of economic operators), Member States must ensure that all economic operators have the right to import, market, connect, bring into service and maintain terminal equipment.

New public network termination points must be accessible to users and the physical characteristics of these points must be published by 31 December 1988 at the latest. Installations already existing on 31 December 1988 must be equipped with a termination point accessible to all users within a reasonable period.

Member States must communicate to the Commission a list of all technical specifications and type-approval procedures used for terminal equipment and provide the publication references

All other specifications and type-approval procedures for terminal equipment must be formalised and published; the notification procedure set out in Directive 83/189/EEC applies in this case.

With effect from 1 July 1989, responsibility for drawing up the specifications, monitoring their application and granting type-approval must be entrusted to a body independent of public or private undertakings offering goods and/or services in the telecommunications sector.

Customers must be given the possibility of terminating leasing or maintenance contracts for terminal equipment subject to exclusive or special rights at the time of conclusion of the contracts.

Directive 94/46/EC also extended liberalisation measures to satellites.

Background

The Directive is part of the process, which began in the mid 1980s, of liberalising telecommunications markets in the European Union. The initiative was boosted by the Commission's 1987 Green Paper on the Development of the Common Market for Telecommunications Services and Equipment, which set two objectives: to establish an integrated European telecommunications network, and to promote the development of lowest-cost services.

The long process culminated on 1 January 1998 when European telecommunications markets were fully opened to competition.

Key terms used in the act
  • Terminal equipment: equipment directly or indirectly connected to the termination of a public telecommunications network to send, process or receive information.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into force - Date of expiryDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 88/301/EEC19.5.198819.5.1998, except in case of specific provisionsOJ 131 of 27.5.1998
ActEntry into force - Date of expiryDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 94/46/EC8.11.1994
(valid until 24.7./2003)
8.8.1995
(1.1.1996 in specific cases)
OJ L 268 of 19.10.1994
Last updated: 31.08.2007
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