The 15th meeting of the Independence of Regulators and Broadband Expert Working Group

    • 01/11/23

    The 15th meeting of the Independence of Regulators and Broadband Expert Working Group was held in Yerevan, Armenia on 25-26 October 2023. The meeting was mainly focused on priority topics of the IRB EWG group, including wholesale broadband access market analysis as well as monitoring of broadband access.

    During the first day of the meeting, country representatives of two Eastern partner countries (namely Georgia and Moldova) presented study cases on ongoing analysis of wholesale broadband access markets carried out by the National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) of the respective countries. Moreover, one EU Member state (i.e. Romania) presented its case study on wholesale call termination markets. Also, activities implemented by IRB EWG and the proposal for IRB EWG plan for 2024 were presented and discussed alongside discussions on the broadband infrastructure and services across the European region and beyond.

    The second day of the meeting was dedicated to presenting and discussing the deliverables that are being developed by the EU4Digital Facility in collaboration with IRB EWG members. The discussions were focused on the three key deliverables:

    • Country-specific broadband development monitoring reports for the Eastern partner countries. On this one, the EU4Digital team presented the sample reports prepared for each country based on data collected for 2020-2022, which also includes additional information such as national broadband development plans and relevant market developments. It will be used as a basis for the new reports based on broadband access data to be collected for 2023.
    • Upcoming broadband market analysis exercise for Armenia and Azerbaijan. It was presented, that broadband data required for this activity is expected to be concluded by November, which will be then analyzed by EU4Digital aiming to prepare country-specific reports in the first half of 2024. Moreover, it was agreed that the EU4Digital team would also review the results of market analysis in other Eastern partner countries (namely Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine) once they are available.
    • Monitoring of regulatory governance legislative developments in light of the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC). Following the discussions on this topic, it was concluded that the EU4Digital team will share an updated monitoring framework as a basis for country representatives to provide their inputs by the end of 2023.

    Furthermore, another EU Member state (Latvia) presented its case study on the analysis of wholesale broadband access markets. Overall, the discussions during the IRB EWG meeting paved the way for continued collaboration and efforts in monitoring broadband access and regulatory governance, as well as experience sharing regarding broadband market analysis setting a clear agenda for future progress in this field.