MoTC calls for feedback on draft Act on Electronic Communication Services

22 Nov 2019

Finland’s Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) has published a draft of its ‘Act on Electronic Communication Services’, calling for comments from interested parties. In a press release regarding the matter the regulator said that ‘the legislative reform aims to promote the availability of broadband networks and communications services as well as the consumer rights and the accessibility of the services’. The MoTC also noted that the reforms will implement the requirements of the EU Directive on Audiovisual Media Services (the so-called ‘AVMS Directive’) and the European Electronic Communications Code (the Telecoms Package Directive).

Among the key elements included in the proposed legislative reform is an increase in the minimum speed for universal broadband services, from 2Mbps to 5Mbps. Meanwhile, the draft Act also proposes amendments to regulations related to companies deemed to hold significant market power (SMP), with new obligations to be imposed on such providers with a view to promoting high speed broadband connections. Further, the regulator has said it will promote the availability of high speed wireless broadband connections by ‘laying down provisions on, for example, deadlines for the introduction of radio frequencies and on new network licence procedures’. Other notable amendments include: a proposal that the maximum duration of fixed-term mobile subscriptions be shortened from 24 months to twelve months; and a requirement that the charge for calling universal access numbers be no more than the cost of mobile phone or local telephone calls, allowing the former to be included in standard call packages or unlimited-usage subscriptions.

With the consultation period on the draft Act due to run until 16 January 2020, the MoTC has said that, following this, ministry officials will continue to work on preparing a final version of the legislation. It also noted that to support the planned reforms the Ministry had previously appointed a monitoring group in January 2019, for a term lasting until 31 December 2020; this group was reported to have met seven times in the past year.

Finland, Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC)