Law & Regulations Competence Group

The Law & Regulations Competence Group is a platform for discussion and information among eco member companies. It is where content coordination is organised, position papers are prepared, enquiries on legal and regulatory topics are answered, and where eco’s general positioning on the relevant Internet and network policy topics and questions is discussed. Based on the Competence Group, members are given the opportunity to actively participate in legislation at the German federal and state level, as well as at the EU level, and thus to participate in the development of legal policy.

The Law & Regulations Competence Group had numerous points of contact with the political and regulatory arena in the year under review. The meetings of the Competence Group were used to provide an overview on current legal policy issues and legislative projects and to discuss these together with the member companies.

In the year under review, the Competence Group focused in particular on the further implementation of the revised German Telecommunications Act (TKG). This resulted in a variety of opportunities for informing and exchanging information with members. Points of contact for discussion arose in particular from two aspects. Firstly, the new right for consumers for price reduction in the event of deviations in data transmission rates, in interaction with the measurement tool of the German Federal Network Agency (BNetzA); secondly, the obligation to provide telecommunications services (formerly universal service) in order to ensure a basic service in Germany. The TKG’s requirements for protecting infrastructures and services and strengthening their resilience also stimulated further discussions.

Further points of contact between the experts arose from the following: the electricity price brake aimed at cushioning price increases, which was set to come into force before the end of 2022; and the draft German Energy Efficiency Act (EnEfG) prepared by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK), which stipulates legal requirements for data centres.

At one of the core meetings, views were exchanged on the requirements and measures for increasing the security and resilience of telecommunications network infrastructures, especially from the perspective of critical infrastructures. Representatives of the German Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) presented the strategy paper on the resilience of telecommunications networks and provided an overview of the current implementation status and future developments. The member companies seized the opportunity to engage with the BNetzA, with a particular focus placed on ensuring supply in the event of any shortages.