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The current Chair of EMERG, Mr. Mohammad Al-Taani, Head of TRC/Jordan, has been invited to attend the UfM (Union for the Mediterranean) Ministerial meeting on the Digital Economy, which will be held on September 30 in Brussels, following the invitation endorsed by Ms. Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner for the Digital Agenda for the European Union, and H.E. Dr. Azzam Sleit, Minister of Information and Communication Technology, for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. This Ministerial meeting will mark an important milestone and strengthen themutual cooperation on both sides of the Mediterranean, aiming at discussion different topics such as stocktaking of developments in the digital economy; role of ÍCT and ICT for societal challenges; and the global governance of the Internet.

EMERG will formally be present as observer at this event which expects to discuss the regulatory developments and cooperation within the Euro-Mediterranean region. EMERG's role and achievements (especially, its recommendations already presented last year, based on the 2013 Athens SOM EMERG Chair statement) are expected to be mentioned during the discussion. This meeting derives from the work done in the referred meeting in Athens, in 2013, and also in the preparatory meeting, which took place in Brussels, last June 25. EMERG participated as an active partner in both meetings.

 

See also Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EUROMED).


Mr. Mohamed Al-Taani, current Chair of EMERG, has participated at the BEREC-REGULATEL summit which took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, between 21 and 22 July, under the topic "Internet and regulatory challenges”. This summit between the european regulators and the latin american ones also featured the participation of the European Commission, ICANN and ITU.

Mr. Mohamed Al-Taani spoke on "NGN among EMERG members", referring mainly to the conclusions of the EMERG workshop on NGN, held in Cyprus in 2013. In this context, Mr. Al-Taani mentioned the sharp cleavage between MENA countries and European partners; the fact that even among MENA countries there are big differences; presented the Jordan example, with allusion to the Jordanian broadband promotion policy and the launch of 4G access, in December this year.

The jordan Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) hosted the EMERG workshop on Broadband service regulation, from 16 to 17 June 2014. There were participants from eight NRAs from Austria, Egypt, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Portugal and Tunisia. Further, this was the frist event counting with the participation of HAKOM, the Croatian regulator, which asked for membership this year.

The purpose of the workshop aimed at exploring the state of play of Broadband Service Regulation in EMERG member states countries around the Mediterranean. In specific, to take a closer look into adopted quality assurance regulations and views of Net Neutrality.

The group discussed and shared information of situation and frameworks that have been put in place to each member state regarding quality of service regulation and consumer protection. At the end of the workshop, participants presented their country specific status and exchanged ideas on different approaches to handle consumer protection and quality of service assurance and the possibility and desirability of planning steps for approximation by the non EU member states countries to the EU model.

Finally, it was agreed that the continuity of maintaining quality assurance by a broadband service provider is an obligation in which minimum ranges of advertised internet speeds should be set and maintained as a standard. This should protect consumers from the manipulation of “up to” advertisements, and constitute for broadband quality of service commitment. The attendees have also confirmed the benefit of consumer awareness whether via web and application based informative QOS measurement tools or via maintaining a social network communication channel. Consequently, the advantage of the consumer awareness build-up delivers the element of transparency and competition for the telecom market and set the path for market maturity.

 


The first 2014 EMERG workshop will be on Broadband service regulation, and it will be hosted by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) in Amman, 16-17 June 2014.

According to EMERG 2014 work programme, this workshop aims at addressing the subject of Broadband service regulation, in view of "Consumer protection with regard to broadband speed, contractual and delivered speeds, other aspects of quality of service, update on developments with regard to net neutrality, exploration discussion of OTT services and any impact on regulations".