Recently, I participated in the Czech Association of Electronic Communications (CAEC) annual conference. The conference has become an important event for the ICT field in the Czech Republic and AT&T is proud to be a member of the association.
This year, CAEC invited Fabio Colasanti, former director general of DG Infso and current president of International Institute of Communications to give the keynote speech. Mr. Colasanti reflected on the last 10 years of regulation in electronic communications and provided his thoughts on future regulatory trends. He discussed the key role the 2009 Czech Presidency played in the adoption of a new telecom regulatory framework for the European Union.
Mr. Colasanti also focused on competition in the industry. He spoke about the impact of market and technological transformations and also convergence. Fixed lines are more resilient than expected, in the same way local loop remains an important element with no other substitute. He also focused on the potential of LTE and how the lack of spectrum could lead to a high risk of congestion on networks due to increased data demand.
Mr. Colasanti noted that a poor decision by a regulator today can have far more important and devastating consequences than a few years ago. He said the situation has changed radically and the National Regulatory Authorities should reflect the new environment. He wondered whether, in the current economic climate, the private sector could deliver the investment needed for next generation access networks. He concluded by stating competition is firmly embedded in the European political DNA which is very positive for the future evolution of the sector.
Other CAEC Conference Speakers:
Igor Nemec, chairman of the Office for Protection of Personal Data, described the current negotiation in Brussels on reforming the EU data protection regime and how it is coordinated with the Czech position. His Office will take account of all comments received when developing the Czech national position.
Ladislav Mikus, chairman of the Slovak National Regulator, described the upcoming auction of spectrum which will happen this year. Slovak law doesn’t allow electronic auctions so the whole process will happen in a traditional way.
Pavel Dvorak, chairman of the Czech Telecommunications Office, took the floor and also discussed the upcoming spectrum auction and promised the auction will be non-discriminatory and transparent.
During other parts of the conference, we discussed issues on Internet piracy, audiovisual services and content protection. During the final session, representatives of the ICT and audiovisual industries discussed recommendations to the public administration on how to maximize benefits of broadband.
Overall, it was a productive day at the conference and we look forward to continuing our discussion on the issues facing the industry.