European Commission reports on implementation of EU telecoms regulatory framework in Malta

The European Commission has just published its annual report on the implementation of the EU regulatory framework. This report includes a country chapter which provides an overview of the European Commission’s assessment of the work carried out by the Malta Communications Authority (MCA) during 2013.

“Malta has already achieved the first two of the Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE) targets related to broadband, i.e. 100% basic broadband coverage by 2013 and 30 Mbps broadband coverage by 2020” is the opening statement of the report. In this regard, the Commission goes on to state that the number of broadband connections per 100 inhabitants increased by 1.6 percent age points during 2013, bringing Malta’s penetration to 33.8%, well above the EU average of 29.4%.

With respect to the Authority’s regulatory work, the Commission provides a comprehensive overview of a number of regulatory decisions taken by the Authority during 2013, which impose various obligations on the market players. The Commission refers to the launch of the Digital Malta Strategy and to the numerous initiatives included in that strategy which fall under the remit of the MCA such as eCommerce, eInclusion, Internet Safety, and Internet
Governance amongst others.

The report also positively refers to the recent amendments to the MCA Act, where the legal provisions related to the independence of the Authority were strengthened. With respect to the Authority’s role in relation to consumer issues, the Commission refers to the roles of the Communications Authority and the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA). In this regard, it states that “since there is no clear separation of competency, a consumer may bring forward a complaint related to electronic communications issues to the MCA or the Office for Consumer Affairs of the MCCAA, or both; in the latter case both Authorities have to deal with the same complaint individually. In cases where consumers claim compensation for damages suffered, they have the option to go to the Consumer Claims Tribunal. In this case, it is mandatory to go to the Office for Consumer Affairs (MCCAA) first, even if the MCA has already dealt with the complaint.”

Follow the link below to access the publication:
EC reports on implementation of EU telecoms regulatory framework in Malta