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Confronting telecommunication developments

During a meeting 28 February the Minister of transportation and communications, Torild Skogsholm, and EU Commissioner for information society and media, Viviane Reding, exchanged ideas on how to secure and regulate the dynamic sector in the future.

15/02/2006 :: As one of the leading European countries in mobile communications and broadband rollout Norway relies on the principles of open and competitive markets and regulatory safeguards.

Both Skogsholm and Reding agreed that the question of widening the scope of the Universal Service Directive to include mobile or broadband communications is a difficult one, which needs close stakeholder consultations before conclusions can be drawn. 

“In the light of a very high take-up rate of VoIP (Voice over Internet), Norway is currently looking into how to safeguard end-user interests and a level playing field without disturbing the rapid growth,” said Skogsholm.

Commissioner Reding expressed her intention to initially take on a “light touch” approach towards the regulation of the broadband industry and leave the technology to develop further.  

Skogsholm and Reding shared the opinion that network integrity and security has become an important factor for economic and social development, and that security challenges within electronic networks must be addressed at an international level.

Reding stated that the recently established European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) aims to establish “a culture of network and information security” within the EU by offering expertise on security measures to both public and private sectors.

Both the EU and Norway see eye to eye on spam and acknowledging it as a major obstruction to e-commerce development, and will continue to work together in the fight against spam by exchanging experiences on awareness campaigns and best practices.

Skogsholm informed that her Ministry had published a ten-point check-list providing guidelines on how to approach the increasing spam problem, and that a website with the aim to raise the level of awareness among consumers, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises, is underway.

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Minister of transportation and communications, Torild Skogsholm, met with EU Commissioner Reding.Photo: Anne Grethe Nilsen, EU-del.