Friday, September 22, 2006

Why regulate the Internet like television?

OFCOMOFCOM has just published a report from RAND Europe on the proposed extension of EU broadcasting regulation to Internet-based audiovisual services. OFCOM does not think the proposals are a good idea (and previously stated that the draft directive should be scrapped). Their recommendations from the RAND report:

  • Make further efforts to clarify the scope of the services caught by the Directive.

  • In addition to the general need for greater certainty, we think the RAND Europe study makes a compelling case for the complete exclusion from the proposals of the online games industry.

  • Ensure that there is clear guidance to the Commission and national authorities to ensure that the implementation of the Directive is conducted in a proportionate, transparent, evidence-based and light touch way. Critical to this is to encourage that IPTV and mobile multimedia industries, amongst others, play a full part through self and co-regulation in shaping the rules that will apply to individual industry sectors.

  • Emphasise that, when conducting a review of the Directive, and in accordance with Better Regulation principles, the Commission should examine whether or not there is a continued need for regulatory measures. Over-regulation risks otherwise driving key strategic activities outside of the EU.

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