Position papers

ETNO's position papers present its member-companies' views on a wide range of technical, regulatory and trade issues to European Union decision-makers, national governments and the general public.

They are developed either internally by ETNO working groups or, occasionally, in co-operation with third parties such as other industry associations.

Click here for definitions of ETNO Position Papers and Expert Contributions.

  • Position papers

    ETNO policy position on the European strategy for data

    Executive Summary

    This paper outlines ETNO’s views on the European Data Strategy, released by the Commission on 19 February 2020.  The document focuses on the Strategy’s approach to data access and sharing in the business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-government (B2G) contexts, also including B2B competition issues linked to exclusive data access. Furthermore, we elaborate on investment in data infrastructures, with emphasis on a European cloud ecosystem.

    2 June, 2020 Read more
  • Position papers

    Building a digitally-enabled recovery

    Executive Summary

    This paper offers unique insights on the impact of the coronavirus crisis on Europe’s top tech business: the telecom sector[1]. As we collectively work to re-design Europe’s vision and strategic plans for the coming years, ETNO puts forward facts, figures, analysis and ideas on how to reboot the EU socio-economic engine by leveraging telecom networks and digital services.

    1. The coronavirus crisis and the corresponding recession are testing not only Europe’s ambitions on digital networks and services, but also its policy and regulatory framework. A fresh look should be given on maintaining and boosting Europe’s investment capacity in new telecom networks and digital services.

    2. There is no recovery without ambitious plans for deep and widespread digitalization. Digitalization is the “missing” link that connects Europe’s recovery and growth plans with the EU Green Deal. We need concerted and bold effort to increase investment in 5G and fibre networks and ensure uptake of digital technologies by all industrial sectors, administrations and across all EU countries.

    3. The building site for Europe’s digital backbone is still open: the first step is to support and boost investment in 5G and fibre networks. We propose to develop a strategic focus on the following 4 key priorities:
      1. reduce the cost of roll-out (p.7)
      2. EU-wide good practices in spectrum allocation and use (p.8)
      3. align competition rules and digital aspirations (p.9)
      4. focus on inclusive connectivity (p.9)
    4. Fostering the European digital ecosystem, digital uptake and demand is as important as supporting supply. We propose to develop a strategic focus on the following 4 key areas:
      1. deeply digitalise Europe’s SMEs and public administration (p.10)
      2. involve consumers and promote adequate awareness and education on technology (p.11)
      3. pave the way for the creation of European digital leaders (p.12)
      4. unleash Europe’s potential in data-driven services (p.12)

    If you wish to stay tuned on ETNO’s updates on technology, telecoms and tech policy, you can subscribe to our #ETNODigital Newsletter. If you wish to discuss our ideas or get more information and insights, you can get in touch with our Team of policy and technology experts.

    [1] Forbes Digital 100 Index, 2019: of the 17 Europe-based brands, 11 are telecom operators and telecom equipment manufacturers.

    28 May, 2020 Read more
  • Position papers

    Public questionnaire for the 2019 Evaluation of the Research & Development and Specialisation Block Exemption Regulations

    ETNO position paper

    1. Horizontal Guidelines (“HGL”) - general

    The Horizontal Guidelines (“HGL”) provide valuable guidance with regards to self-assessment of horizontal co-operation agreements. However, in order to remain effective for the telecommunications sector, it is necessary to update them to cover new market situations related to digitalisation, increase investments and to encourage technical developments and innovation.

    9 April, 2020 Read more
  • Position papers

    ETNO – GSMA joint response to the OECD Update Statement

    ETNO and the GSMA provide their comments below in response to the ‘Statement by the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on BEPS on the Two-Pillar Approach to Address the Tax Challenges Arising from the Digitalisation of the Economy’. 

    1 April, 2020 Read more
  • Position papers

    Key comments to the EC proposal of Implementing Regulation for SAWAPs

    Joint response by GSMA, ETNO, Small Cell Forum, DIGITALEUROPE and GSA

    1 April 2020

    Our organizations welcome the European Commission proposal to give effect to the SAWAP provisions of the EECC to allow harmonized light deployment regimes leveraging simple criteria such as volume, emission power and compliance of SAWAP installation with the applicable European Standards (EN50401 and EN62232). We welcome Recital 16 that allows Member States to adopt less restrictive approaches, noting that many Member States already permit larger volumes or higher powers than those defined in the proposed SAWAP regulation or provide for no restrictions at all indoor as opposed to the proposed SAWAP regulation.

    1 April, 2020 Read more
  • Position papers

    Telecommunications and Cable Industry Note on the Draft e-Privacy Regulation

    ETNO, the GSMA and Cable Europe, as the voice of Europe’s leading telecom and cable operators, have been heavily invested in the debate surrounding the draft e-Privacy Regulation, since its publication in January 2017.

    27 January, 2020 Read more
  • Position papers

    ETNO position on DNS over https (DoH)

    Executive summary

    The Domain Name System (DNS) is a critical element of the Internet infrastructure. DNS resolvers in particular play an essential role for operators and Internet Service Providers in providing access to the web for their customers. These resolvers are intermediaries that see the vast majority of DNS traffic sent today from and to their end-users to access the Internet, from web content to cloud infrastructures.

    A new protocol “DNS over HTTPS” (or DoH) was developed in order to enhance user privacy and security. This was itself followed by various announcements from browser makers on the deployment of the protocol. ETNO is of the opinion that, as a protocol, DoH may provide some improvement to currently deployed DNS technology. However, the foreseen deployment models raise a number of issues, not least related to policy, law enforcement, user privacy and governance.

    The deployment models of DoH will have a technical impact on operators, as well as a significant policy impact. Investigations and blocking against malicious content risk becoming more difficult, with operators no longer being able to comply with legal requests for blocking; and the impact of a failure will be multiplied on account of a single point of failure. Less accountability, less transparency, and reduced geographical diversity among public DNS resolvers may have broader impacts on existing EU policies which rely on a secure and transparent Internet ecosystem: ePrivacy, eEvidence, data and competition, and digital services.

    ETNO calls for a broader, international discussion – beyond the technical community – to consider the non-technical consequences related to data protection, regulation, competition and law enforcement. Policymakers should review DoH technology and its deployment models to consider its policy implications, while the technical community should work together to develop mechanisms to address the negative technical impacts.

    18 December, 2019 Read more
  • Position papers

    ETNO-GSMA Tax Policy Committee Position

    Implementation within Member States of provisions of Council Directive 2006/112/EC (“the EU VAT Directive”) concerning VAT adjustments on unpaid invoices, and specific impact on the telecommunications sector.

    5 December, 2019 Read more
  • Position papers

    GSMA ETNO Position paper on the proposal for a regulation on preventing the dissemination of terrorist content online

    Executive summary

    • We invite co-legislators to support the amended wording in the Parliament’s text on Article 2 and Recital 10, clarifying that hosting services which satisfy at least one of the following criteria should be outside of the scope of the regulation:

    9 July, 2019 Read more
  • Position papers

    ETNO Comments on EDPB draft Guidelines on Article 6(1)(b) GDPR

    Introduction

    On 9th April, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) released its draft Guidelines on the processing of personal data under the contractual necessity legal basis (Article 6(1)(b) GDPR) in the context of the provision of online services to data subjects. EDPB has invited interested stakeholders to comment on the draft Guidelines until 24th May 2019. ETNO welcomes the opportunity to submit comments to the EDPB on this important topic, but regrets the static interpretation given by EDPB on the “contractual necessity” legal ground.

    31 May, 2019 Read more
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