December 2016: Highlights and Activities

International Meetings attended by MCA representatives

BEREC – WG – Regulatory Accounting Meeting
An MCA representative attended the Regulatory Accounting Working Group set up by BEREC and the IRG Secretariat on the 20th December 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. This was the 2nd physical meeting for 2016, focusing mainly on the WACC calculation for Telecoms and call termination rates. The work stream will continue in 2017.

eIDAS Regulations/Legal Drafting – Trust Services: 6 Months On after the Switch-Over
A representative of the MCA participated in the ‘eIDAS Trust Services: 6 Months On after the Switch-Over’ on the 19th December 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. Following the first 6 months since the introduction of Regulation (EU) No. 910/2014 (known as the eIDAS Regulation), the European Commission via DG Connect invited the MCA to act as a panel speaker in a workshop which aimed to allow member states and other stakeholders to share their experience with the implementation of the regulation following the first 6 months. The MCA provided a quick overview of the way it introduced the regulation in Malta, the lessons learnt and also provided a number of suggestions to ensure the regulation works and brings tangible benefits to the citizen, both in Malta and in the European Union. A number of speakers from various related organizations such as trust service providers, conformity assessment bodies and national accreditation bodies also participated in the workshop.

SM – Strategy Space Comm Services – World Radiocommunication Seminar (WRS)
An MCA representative attended the World Radiocommunication Seminar held between the 12th and 17th December 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) organizes the World Radiocommunication Seminar every 2 years in accompaniment to the cycle of Regional Radiocommunication Seminar (RRS). The WRS deals with the use of the radio frequency spectrum and the satellite orbits and, in particular, with the application of the provisions of the ITU Radio Regulations. In order to register a satellite network, administrations are required to follow a number of regulatory steps which include publication, coordination and notification procedures. During the workshop, participants had the opportunity to become more familiar with the tools and software provided by the ITU. Furthermore, contacts within the ITU were established, which will be available to assist administrations in case of any difficulties.

Communications Committee (COCOM) – 68th General Meeting
An MCA official was part of the delegation attending the 68th Meeting of the Communications Committee (COCOM) on the 12th December 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. The meeting concerned the Commission’s proposed implementation act on roaming fair use and sustainability. The Commission provided a final overview of comments received from consumer associations, industry and member states, and of the changes that were made to reach a difficult balance between views which were often divergent.

4th IRG General Assembly and 29th BEREC Plenary Meeting
MCA officials participated in the 4th IRG General Assembly of 2016 and the 29th BEREC Plenary Meeting that were held between the 8th and 9th December 2016 in Berlin, hosted by the German telecoms regulator BNetzA. During the session the elections of the IRG and BEREC Chair 2018 and Vice-Chairs for 2017 were held. Johannes Gungl, Managing Director of Austrian regulator RTR, was elected Chair for 2018 and will serve as a Vice-Chair during 2017. Two additional Vice-Chairs were elected for a one year term, Alejandra de Iturriaga of Spanish regulator CNMC and Steve Unger of UK regulator OFCOM. They will join the current IRG / BEREC Chair, who will serve as a Vice-Chair in 2017, and the 2017 Chair-elect – Sebastien Soriano, President of French regulator ARCEP. The main item on the Agenda was the adoption of the BEREC opinion on the European Commission’s proposal for a draft Electronic Communications Code. This high level opinion focuses on 3 important aspects of the Commission’s proposals: the scope of the framework, the access regulation and the institutional set-up. During the course of next year BEREC will continue to assess the draft Electronic Communications Code and will seek to provide its expert views based on an in-depth analysis on a variety of topics, including also spectrum, to the European legislators. Following a public consultation and the discussion at the Stakeholder Forum, BEREC also adopted its Work Programme for 2017.

58th Radio Spectrum Committee (RSCOM) Meeting
An MCA representative attended the 58th Radio Spectrum Committee Meeting on 7th December 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. The meeting considered various issues aimed to harmonise the use of spectrum within the European Union. In particular, the meeting assessed a draft Commission Implementing Decision on Mobile Communications on board Vessels (MCV) which updates the original 2010 MCV decision by adding 3G and 4G communication technologies. Another draft Commission Implementing Decision for the 6th update of the Short Range Devices spectrum harmonisation framework was also considered. The meeting agreed on a draft Mandate to CEPT to develop harmonised technical conditions for spectrum use in support of 5G terrestrial wireless systems in the EU. The mandate focuses on the 3.4 – 3.8 GHz and 24.25 – 27.5 GHz frequency bands.

EU – Postal Directive Committee Meeting
An MCA official participated in the Postal Directive Committee Meeting on the 5th December 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. The main purpose for the meeting was the application of the legislation concerning common rules for the development of the internal market of Community Postal Services and the improvement of quality service. The Committee discussed, amongst other things, the European Parliament Resolution of 15th September 2016 on the Application of the Postal Service Directive (2016/2010 (INI)) and the state of play of the negotiations in Council and European Parliament with regard to the draft regulation on cross-border parcel delivery services.

Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council
Representatives from the MCA formed part of a Ministerial delegation led by Hon. Minister Emmanuel Mallia between the 1st and 2nd December 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. During the visit, the delegation held meetings with a number of members of the European Parliament as part of the Maltese Presidency preparations. On the 2nd December, Minister Mallia participated in the Telecoms Council Meeting. The Council adopted a general approach on new rules for wholesale roaming fees for consumers on 15th June 2017 as agreed. The general approach is the starting point for negotiations with the European Parliament. The Council also adopted a partial general approach on a proposal under which the EU will fund the installation of free WiFi4EU internet connections in local communities. A presentation on the Maltese priorities during the Presidency of the Council was delivered at the end of the meeting.

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MCA Publications & Website Uploads

The Assignment of Spectrum in the 800 MHz Band – Clarifications on the Call for Applications
Published on the 27th December 2016: http://bit.ly/2hVeWBe

Malta tops the List in the Use of Internet Marketing by Businesses
Published on the 22nd December 2016: http://bit.ly/2ifo4wC

Mobile Telephony and Fixed Broadband amongst the highest Performing Communications Sectors during the first half of 2016
Published on the 20th December 2016: http://bit.ly/2hWqHWE

300 Free WiFi Hotspots in Public Spaces
Published on the 15th December 2016: http://bit.ly/2hzCFmU

More than half the Maltese Businesses engage with Customers Online
Published on the 9th December 2016: http://bit.ly/2iMhgtS

The Assignment of Spectrum in the 800 MHz Band – Extension to the Request for Clarifications Period
Published on the 5th December 2016: http://bit.ly/2iFvxIK

Hour of Code: An Initiative to promote Coding amongst Students in Malta
Published on the 5th December 2016: http://bit.ly/2hVexKs

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MCA Events

Press Launch WiFi Hotspots in Public Spaces

The Malta Communications Authority has successfully installed 300 Free WiFi hotspots in public spaces across Malta and Gozo over the past years. Although we reached the target of 300 hotspots by end of this year, as established in the electoral manifesto, the MCA is still striving to improve and increase the network, by installing 100 more connections during year 2017 - therefore, aiming to reach 400 Wifi points. This will be placing Malta well on track to becoming a leading Wifi state.  This was announced by the Hon. Dr Emanuel Mallia, Minister for Minister for Competitiveness and Digital, Maritime, and Service during a press conference held at the office of the Msida Local Council. 

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Coordinated by MCA in collaboration with other public entities, this initiative essentially facilitates access to the Internet through a secure broadband connection and promotes the use of connected devices. The hotspots are installed in information centres, public libraries, public gardens, town squares and Local Councils.

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During 2016, more than 2,500,000 end-users accessed these Wifi hotspots. Every connection is filtered in order to prevent illegal content in order to protect the end-user and especially, to protect minors. These free Wifi hotspots are easily identifiable as each hotspot is signposted. A mobile app can also be downloaded in order to identify the closest hotspot to any given location. One can identify the established Wifi centres thanks to the continuous work that has been done, and will continue to be done, with numerous public entities, which in turn are welcome to offer these services in their respective points.  

 

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Media participation by MCA

Radio

20.12.16:           ‘Mhux l-aħħar Kelma’ – Campus FM
                           (L-Internet - Mark Schembri)
                           http://bit.ly/2jitUlg

16.12.16           ‘L-Informatika u s-Soċjetà’ – Radju Marija
                          (WiFi Hotspots – Stephen Muscat)
                          http://bit.ly/2jiuIXh

07.12.16           ‘L-Informatika u s-Soċjetà’ – Radju Marija
                          (Il-Volontarjat – Mark Schembri / Matthew Borġ)
                          http://bit.ly/2jbhKq4

Television

22.12.16                MCA TV Advert
                              MCA 15th Anniversary Campaign
                              http://bit.ly/2iIWQSt

19.12.16                EU2017MT – TVM
                              (The Digital Single Market – Ian Agius)
                              http://bit.ly/2jbiBqI

19.12.16                ‘Kalamita’ – One TV
                               (Ir-Rwol tal-Uffiċju tal-Konsumatur fi ħdan l-Awtorità – Yanika Cassar)
                               http://bit.ly/2ij9pR5

16.12.16                ‘Niskata’ – TVM
                              (BeSmartOnline!- Mark Spiteri)
                              http://bit.ly/2iU8CqM      

15.12.16                ‘Niskata’ – TVM
                               (Ir-Rwol tal-Uffiċju tal-Konsumatur fi ħdan l-Awtorità – Yanika Cassar)
                               http://bit.ly/2jitono

15.12.16                ‘Kalamita’ – One TV
                               (Ir-Rwol tal-IS Unit fi ħdan l-Awtorità – Mark Spiteri)
                               http://bit.ly/2jbri4v

14.12.16                News Feature – TVM
                              (Press Event - Hour of Code)
                              http://bit.ly/2iY8CpC

12.12.16                ‘Niskata’ – TVM
                              (Ir-Rwol tal-MCA – Yanica Cassar)
                              http://bit.ly/2hY2T18

09.12.16                News Feature – TVM
                              (Press Launch - #Webcheck for Local Councils)
                              http://bit.ly/2iJ7f0k

07.12.16                ‘Kalamita’ – One TV
                              (Ir-Rwol tal-MCA, 15 il-sena ta’ Servizz – Yanika Cassar)
                              http://bit.ly/2ij8fW1

06.12.16                Gadgets Feature – TVM
                              (Hour of Code 2016)
                              http://bit.ly/2iY1A4k 

05.12.16                Video Message from MEP Dr. Roberta Metsola
                              (Press Event - Hour of Code)
                               http://bit.ly/2iJ2cgw

05.12.16                Video Message from MEP Dr. Miriam Dalli
                              (Press Event - Hour of Code)
                              http://bit.ly/2jbt0Tn

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Legal Updates

Pending lawsuits:

  • 5th December 2016: Sitting before the Competition & Consumer Appeals Tribunal in the case Melita vs Director General et. (use of allegedly misleading adverts) – case adjourned for the 21st February 2017 for Tribunal’s decision.

  • 1st December 2016: Arbitration sitting involving MCA’s van and 3rd Party vehicle adjourned for January.
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International News

REGULATION

eCommerce Times: Apple, Ireland Balk at EU's Bill for Back Taxes
Apple and the government of Ireland are fighting what some view as a European Union tax grab. The two recently filed a formal appeal of the EC's decision ordering Apple to pay nearly US$14 billion in back taxes, based on its finding that Ireland had given Apple several illegal tax breaks [read more].

Telecoms.com: Europe shoots down Snoopers Charter and indiscriminate collection of data
The European Court of Justice has dealt a major blow to UK spooks with a ruling could lead to the Snoopers Charter being diluted or even repealed [read more].

European Commission: ePrivacy: consultations show confidentiality of communications and the challenge of new technologies are key questions
The Commission has published the results of a Eurobarometer and a public consultation on EU rules which govern the processing of personal data and privacy in the electronic communications sector – the ePrivacy Directive. Results show that Europeans consistently call for strong protection of the confidentiality of their communications and effective respect of their privacy [read more].

The Verge:  EU says Facebook misled it over its WhatsApp data-sharing policy
The European Commission has accused Facebook of providing “incorrect or misleading information” in the run-up to its $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp in 2014. Information requested by the Commission is used to vet large mergers and takeovers, aiming to find out if the resulting business would be anti-competitive [read more].

The Verge: Apple escalates rhetoric as it prepares to challenge EU’s €13 billion tax ruling
There’s quite a peculiar situation underway in Europe, where Ireland doesn’t want to collect a mighty €13 billion ($13.6 billion) tax bill from Apple, and Apple certainly doesn’t want to pay it. But the European Commission, the EU’s cross-border regulator and antitrust enforcer, issued a judgment in August determining that Ireland gave Apple special treatment and the US tech giant owed the big bill for improperly underpaying its taxes all the way back to 2003 [read more].

Cullen International: BEREC plans in 2017 to assess the implementation of net neutrality rules
The BEREC work programme for 2017 focuses mainly on the in-depth analysis of the EU Telecoms Framework Review but will also include an assessment of the national implementation of the net neutrality provisions [read more – subscription required].

Ofcom: Digital divide declines, but 1.4m homes cannot get decent broadband
The number of UK properties unable to get a decent broadband connection has fallen by one million over the past year, new research by Ofcom has found [read more].

Ofcom: The BBC’s commercial activities
The role of the BBC is to produce high quality and distinctive programmes and services which educate, inform and entertain [read more].

Advanced Television: FCC Chairman Wheeler to step down
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has announced his intention to leave the Federal Communications Commission on January 20th 2017 – effectively coinciding with President-elect Trump’s inauguration. Wheeler, an appointee of President Obama, has been at the helm of the agency for more than three years [read more].

Advanced Television: Ofcom reveals infrastructure sharing proposals
Companies will be able to build ultrafast, ‘full-fibre’ broadband networks more cheaply and easily, using infrastructure owned by incumbent telco BT, under initial plans set out by UK communications regulator Ofcom [read more].

Cullen International: The European Commission has published a recommendation for the Italian regulator, AGCOM, to amend or withdraw its dispute settlement proposal setting the mobile termination rate (MTR) of PosteMobile at 1.7 €cents/min retroactively [read more – subscription required].

Cullen International: Portuguese to apply pure LRIC cost model for fixed call termination
ANACOM, the Portuguese regulator, will set the rates for fixed call termination based on its own pure BU-LRIC cost model for the first time. Until now, the fixed termination rates (FTRs) have been set using a benchmark of pure LRIC rates [read more – subscription required].

Total Telecom: FCC accuses AT&T, Verizon of flouting net neutrality
The US Federal Communications Commission has raised concerns that AT&T and Verizon's zero-rated data programmes are in violation of net neutrality rules [read more].

Ars Technica: FCC’s Ajit Pai says net neutrality’s “days are numbered” under Trump
Federal Communications Commission member Ajit Pai has vowed to take a "weed whacker" to FCC regulations after President-elect Donald Trump takes office, with net neutrality rules being among the first to be cut down [read more].

Advanced Television: Broadcasters call for ad rules flexibility
Europe’s commercial broadcasters have asked the European Parliament to ensure the proposed revision of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive be future proof and ensure fair competition. The call came as MEPs, Member State attachés and commercial broadcasters gathered in the European Parliament to focus on advertising as part of the ongoing EU revision. The Directive has its roots in 1989 [read more].

Cullen International: EU Parliament lead committee adopts amendments to content portability proposal
The Legal Affairs (JURI) Committee of the European Parliament has adopted its report on the Commission's proposed regulation to ensure the cross-border portability of online content services in the internal market [read more – subscription required].

European Council:  Wholesale roaming: Council ready for talks with EP
On 2 December 2016 the Council adopted a general approach on new rules for wholesale roaming markets in the EU, paving the way for the abolition of roaming fees for consumers in 2017. The agreed text is the starting point for negotiations with the European Parliament. The Council supports a quick agreement so that roaming fees can be abolished in June 2017 as agreed [read more].

European Council: Geo-blocking: Council agrees to remove barriers to e-commerce
On 28 November 2016, the Council agreed on a draft regulation to ban unjustified geo-blocking between member states [read more].

Advanced Television: Ofcom to force BT Openreach split
UK communications regulator Ofcom is proceeding with a formal notification to require the legal separation of infrastructure unit Openreach from BT, after BT failed to offer voluntary proposals that address Ofcom’s competition concerns. The news came a matter of hours after the telco named experienced businessman Mike McTighe as Chairman of the unit under changes designed to make Openreach more independent and transparent [read more].

SPECTRUM

Policy Tracker: BEREC rejects idea of becoming an EU institution
The European Commission had proposed making BEREC an EU institution, but the body has responded by saying this could create more cost and bureaucracy while also possibly restricting the independence of national regulators [read more – subscription required].

Policy Tracker: Dutch plan for 700MHz auction reflects shifting priorities
In an apparent change of strategy for Dutch spectrum auctions, the Minister for Economic Affairs Henk Kamp has proposed attaching coverage obligations to licences assigned in the country's 700MHz auction [read more – subscription required].

Policy Tracker: Romania to consult on spectrum assignments in six bands
Romania’s telecoms regulator has released its action plan for 2017 which states that it will launch consultations on awarding spectrum for broadband services in the 450MHz, 700MHz, 800MHz, 1500MHz, 2600MHz and 3.4–3.8GHz bands [read more – subscription required].

Total Telecom: Telstra barred from 700-MHz auction
Australian incumbent ruled out after communications minister Mitch Fifield imposes caps on spectrum holdings. Telstra has been barred from bidding in Australia's next 700MHz spectrum auction, after the government imposed restrictions on the volume of airwaves any single player can hold [read more].

European Council:  Boosting mobile internet for all: presidency strikes deal with EP on 700 MHz
On 14 December 2016 the Slovak presidency reached an informal agreement with the European Parliament on the coordinated use of a key frequency band that will allow for higher speeds and better access to mobile internet across Europe. At the same time, the deal addresses the need for spectrum for broadcasting purposes. The outcome of the talks will be submitted for approval by member states at the beginning of 2017 [read more].

Total Telecom:  AT&T conducts 5G trial with business customer
AT&T has claimed a world first with the launch of a 5G trial with a business customer [read more].

Advanced Television: Rivals call for curb on BT’s mobile dominance
A new campaign is calling on UK consumers to join the fight to ensure more choice and better quality in the mobile sector and curb BT’s dominance [read more].

INTERNET

European Commission: European Commission requires the Portuguese regulator to grant regulated access to fibre in rural and remote areas
The Commission has issued a recommendation asking the Portuguese telecoms regulator (ANACOM) to grant regulated access to the fibre lines of MEO (Portugal's incumbent telecoms operator), in less densely populated parts of the country where there is little prospect of alternative infrastructure deployment and in the absence of commercial access or co-investment offers that would permit sustainable competition in such areas [read more].

European Council: Free WiFi4EU internet connection - Council agrees its position
On 2 December 2016, the Council adopted a partial general approach on a proposal to promote free internet in local communities by means of an EU-funded scheme, 'WiFi4EU'. Budget issues relating to the mid-term review of the multiannual financial framework will be finalised later [read more].

INTERNET

European Commission: Commission and European Investment Bank announce a fund for broadband infrastructure open to participation of National Promotional Banks and Institutions and of private investors
The European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have announced their plans to launch a fund for broadband infrastructure – the Connecting Europe Broadband Fund [read more].

BBC: UK government 'must take action' on 5G
The rollout of the UK's future 5G mobile network must be handled better than 4G was, according to a new report. The current 4G network ranks only 54th in the world in terms of coverage, the government-appointed experts said [read more].

Ars Technica: US flight regulators consider whether to allow or bar in-flight WiFi calls
The Internet-connected world could get even more connected as federal aviation officials are considering rules on whether fliers should, or shouldn't, make Wi-Fi-based calls [read more].

European Commission: National laws lack coherence on data treatment, shows the study on Ownership and Access to Data
A new study examining the current European legal landscape on access to and rights over data found that data ownership is not explicitly dealt with by any of the legal instruments at EU and national level [read more].

MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

Total Telecom:  A year in deals: bring your M&A-game
The telco industry's dealmakers were out in force in 2016, as players sought greater scale or eyed opportunities in adjacent markets [read more].

Advanced Television: AGCom to investigate Vivendi’s Mediaset dealings
Italy’s communications watchdog, the Autorità per le Garanzie nelle Comunicazioni (AGCom), has confirmed that it is to open an investigation into French media group Vivendi’s shareholdings in Italian broadcaster Mediaset [read more].

Post & Parcel: EC clears Deutsche Post DHL acquisition of UK Mail
The European Commission has cleared Deutsche Post DHL’s offer to buy UK Mail [read more].

BBC: Sky and 21st Century Fox agree £18.5bn takeover deal
Broadcaster Sky and 21st Century Fox have reached agreement on the terms of a takeover deal. Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox will pay £11.7bn for the 61% stake it does not already own [read more].

Post & Parcel: bpost buys DynaGroup
In a move aimed at strengthening its parcel division with “complementary logistical knowhow”, bpost has agreed to buy 100% of the shares of DynaGroup [read more].

Total Telecom: Sky shares soar on 21st Century Fox bid
Sky shares surged on after US media giant 21st Century Fox launched an £11.25 billion (€13.43 billion) takeover bid for the company [read more].

Post & Parcel: PostNL rejects revised final proposal from bpost
In a statement sent to Post&Parcel on 7th December, PostNL said that its Boards “believe that combination will not be successful” and “consider it likely that acquisition by bpost will trigger regulatory changes [read more].

Post & Parcel: bpost makes “final and improved proposal” to PostNL
bpost has made a “final and improved proposal” to PostNL for the merger of the two companies. In a statement sent to Post&Parcel on 30 November, bpost said that it has increased its offer price with €0.376 in cash per PostNL share, representing a total amount in cash of €167m [read more].

INNOVATION

Total Telecom: Review of 2016: The big 'D'
Disruption, that overused word, showed its dark side in a year marked by political upsets and economic uncertainty. The telecoms industry has been using the word "disruption" with such frequency over the last 15 years that it has almost lost all meaning. However, the events of 2016 showed that in fact, disruption is only just getting properly started, and it has a dark side too [read more].

eCommerce News: Amazon delivers first package via drone
Amazon made history when it made its first drone delivery to a customer. The online retail company shipped a Fire TV stick and some popcorn 13 minutes after the customer in Cambridge, UK placed the order online [read more].

POST

Post & Parcel: bpost announces new tariffs for domestic mail items
bpost will be increasing its conventional and preferential tariffs for domestic mail item on 1 January [read more].

Post & Parcel: Swiss Post moves ahead with postal automation plans
Swiss Post has signed a contract with NEC Corporation for culler facer cancellers (CFC) which the postal operator will use to advance its automation plans [read more].

Post & Parcel: PostEurop calls for cross-border regulations that “better reflect market conditions”
PostEurop has said that it welcomes the European Council’s recognition that the European Commission’s proposal on cross-border parcel delivery “goes far too far” [read more].

Post & Parcel: Ecommerce Europe moving ahead on harmonised standards for cross border labels
The 41st European Postal Standardization Plenary meeting, which took place in Warsaw on 2nd December, decided that the final vote on the technical specification for Interfaces for cross-border parcels will be launched in January 2017 [read more].

Post & Parcel: The Way Forward for Canada Post
The Canadian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates has issued a report outlining “The Way Forward for Canada Post” [read more].

Post & Parcel: An Post stamp price increase on the cards
Ireland’s Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment Denis Naughten is seeking Government approval to introduce legislation to remove the current price cap on An Post’s stamps [read more].

Post & Parcel: “Delivery options will determine choice of online retailer this Christmas,” finds Shutl survey
A new survey of more than a thousand shoppers conducted by Shutl found that 95% would potentially consider going to another retailer if a site couldn’t offer delivery that suited their needs [read more].

Post & Parcel: Ofcom issues annual postal market monitoring update
On 30th November Ofcom issued its annual monitoring update on the postal market. Ofcom’s research indicates that “the majority of consumers are satisfied with postal services (85%) and that prices remain affordable”, but it also notes that Royal Mail’s 2015-16 quality of service (QoS) performance was lower than in the prior year on six of the eight measures [read more].

Post & Parcel: Australia Post installing parcel lockers in Woolworths stores
Australia Post will be installing at least 500 parcel lockers in Woolworths stores across Australia. The roll-out of the 24/7 parcel lockers will start in November [read more].

Post & Parcel: Posti launching “Befriending” service
As part of its efforts to diversify, Posti will be launching a new “Befriending” service – which will see Posti staff help the elderly to enjoy outdoor activities [read more].

ECOMMERCE

Ecommerce News: Consumers still face restrictions while shopping online in Europe
Consumers in Europe are still not able to shop online in the European Union without being discriminated against because of their nationality. Online stores across the continent keep refusing customers from other countries, charging higher prices to foreign customers or creating virtual boundaries in some other way [read more].

Post & Parcel: PostEurop welcomes EC approach to modernising VAT rules
PostEurop, representing European postal operators, has welcomed the approach of the European Commission’s recently published plans to modernising the VAT rules for cross-border e-commerce, avoid situations of VAT fraud and reduce the administrative burden on businesses and suppliers [read more].

Post & Parcel: Canadians opt for online convenience
A new survey from FedEx Express has revealed that 77% of Canadians believe it is more convenient to shop for gifts online than in stores – so much so that Canadians plan to do almost half of their holiday shopping online this year [read more].

European Commission: What is your experience in trading on online platforms?
In its follow-up to the Digital Single Market Strategy, the European Commission has undertaken a study aimed at learning more about the business-to-business (B2B) relations between online platforms and businesses active on these platforms. In order to learn more about current trading practices, the Commission invites all businesses using online platforms and the online platforms themselves to take part in a survey launched by the study [read more].

eCommerce News: Apple Pay launches in Spain
Apple has launched its mobile payments service Apple Pay in Spain. It supports cards from Banco Santander, Carrefour, Ticket Restaurant and American Express. At the moment, Apple Pay in Spain can be used at 27 major retailers, including Media Markt and Bershka [read more].

European Commission: Commission proposes new tax rules to support e-commerce and online businesses in the EU
The European Commission has unveiled a series of measures to improve the Value Added Tax (VAT) environment for e-commerce businesses in the EU. Our proposals will allow consumers and companies, in particular start-ups and SMEs, to buy and sell goods and services more easily online [read more].

TELEVISION

Advanced Television: EBU support for Digital Single Market proposals
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has said it believes the European Commission’s proposal on broadcasters’ online transmissions and retransmissions will enable more Public service media (PSM) content to circulate online without harming the existing prerogatives of rights holders and broadcasters, suggesting that such bodies need copyright licensing systems which allow them to respond to citizens’ expectations in the EU Digital Single Market [read more].

INFORMATION SOCIETY

Ofcom: Landline prices review to protect elderly and vulnerableOfcom has announced a review of the retail market for standalone landline telephone services, to ensure that customers receive value for money [read more].

European Commission: Commission launches Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition to help Europeans in their career and daily life
The Commission has launched the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition, together with Member States, companies, social partners, NGOs and education providers, to help meet the high demand for digital skills in Europe which are essential in today's job market and society [read more].

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Disclaimer

The information contained in this newsletter is for general information purposes only and while we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the information contained therein. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.