The EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media, Vivane Reding, has said that parts of the UK will be exempt from EU regulations on the telecoms market because of sufficiently high competition.
Reding said that the wholesale broadband market would be de-regulated in parts of the UK covering around 65 per cent of all UK homes and businesses.
The announcement comes as a result of a proposal by Ofcom, who provided detailed economic evidence to the European Commission.
Reding said, Ofcom's finding of effective competition in a substantial part of the UK broadband market shows that the more effective a national telecoms watchdog regulates, the faster can be the move to competition law, inbuilt in the EU's telecoms rules.
I therefore welcome the precedent set by Ofcom's proposal to define sub-national geographic markets. The proposal at the same time has enabled the Commission to provide clear guidance and policy principles for all national regulators in this important area. This should now be a solid basis for a coherent European regulatory approach to regional markets and give the required legal certainty to the market.
In addition the EU Competition Commissioner, Neelie Kroes said, In the more densely populated areas of the UK, consumers have the choice between different broadband suppliers which have rolled out their own infrastructure. For many of these areas ex-ante regulation is no longer warranted.
However, at this crucial phase of broadband development across Europe, it is also important to ensure consistency across Member States. Both over-regulation and under-regulation could stifle investment and lead to higher costs for households and businesses. Any de-regulation of sub-national markets should therefore be based on competition law principles.