HC Deb 08 May 2000 vol 349 cc282-3W
Mr. Hood

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was the outcome of the Telecommunications Council held in Brussels on 2 May; and if he will make a statement. [120991]

Ms Hewitt

There was an orientation debate on the review of the regulatory framework for electronic communications. During the debate all member states supported the general approach of the Commission on regulation of access to infrastructures in order to promote competition. A number, including the UK, welcomed the Commission's proposal that regulation should be on a co-regulatory basis with business where possible. Regarding the new institutional structure, member states welcomed the Commission's intention to build on the existing structure, but define the roles of any new bodies. On the scope of universal service, most member states, including the UK, supported the Commission's proposal to retain the existing scope of universal service, but to keep this under review.

The Commission presented its Communication on the World Radiocommunication Conference 2000 and the Council adopted Conclusions giving broad support to the Communication.

The Commission also presented a number of recent or forthcoming Communications concerning: the results of its consultation on creation of the EU internet top level domain; organisation and management of the internet; unbundled access to the local loop; and gave an update on the forthcoming postal services liberalisation Directive. The Council also noted Presidency reports on the outcome of the Conference on Digital Terrestrial Television, and the Ministerial Conference on Knowledge and the Information Society held in Lisbon on 17–18 February and 10–11 April 2000 respectively.

Forward to