On December 24th, 2021, Legislative Decree No. 207 of the 8th of November 2021 entered into force, transposing into Italian law the Directive (EU) No. 2018/1972 on the European Electronic Communications Code, which introduces significant changes to the regulatory framework of the sector.

The new Electronic Communications Code will produce important consequences for consumers, as well as confirming the fundamental importance of internet access. It covers: electronic communications networks and services for public use, including networks used for broadcasting sound and television programmes and cable television networks; closed user groups; electronic communications networks and services for private use; protection of underwater electronic communications facilities; radio services.

One very important aspect concerns free access to the internet, which is recognised as a fundamental right for people's economic well-being and social and civil growth. Difficulties in accessing the internet represent a serious obstacle to interpersonal and communication skills for consumers, but even more so for businesses, since the spread of broadband internet is a factor in the economic and employment growth of any territory. A minimum connection speed is an essential requirement for the distribution of services.

The new Electronic Communications Code stipulates that broadband internet access, and not just voice service, should become part of the universal service to which consumers are entitled, throughout the country, at an affordable price. In every location there must be at least one telephone operator which guarantees at an affordable price the universal service, i.e. the voice service and the bandwidth necessary to support the minimum set of activities required for social and economic participation in society.

One of the most interesting innovations concerns telephony contracts: each telephony contract, including equipment instalments, will have to have a maximum duration of 24 months, and operators will have to provide at least one commercial proposal with a maximum initial duration of 12 months. This means that, with the new code, consumers will not have only 48-month offers anymore, and without instalments to be paid even after cancellation. The new contract duration rules also apply to non-consumers, such as micro enterprises, professionals, and organisations.​

More protection for consumers: the internet is an essential service and telephone operators will have to provide at least one offer with a maximum initial duration of 12 months. More transparency on contract withdrawals and tariff updates

There is also more transparency on automatic renewals: until now contracts were renewed automatically, unless cancelled. The new Electronic Communications Code requires providers to inform the end user, in a clear and timely manner, of the end of the contractual commitment, how to withdraw from the contract and the best rates for the services, at least two months in advance of the automatic renewal of the contract. It will thus be possible to find out whether operators have reduced their prices in the meantime, and end-users should receive updates on the best tariffs at least once a year. These innovations allow users to understand if they are paying too much compared to the market average and if necessary, to request a new tariff or change operator.

Suppliers shall inform end-users, at least thirty days in advance, of any change in the contractual conditions and of their right to withdraw from the contract without penalty.

The Italian Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (AGCOM) will have more sanctioning powers, and its role will be essential to monitor the fairness of costs and, in general, the interpretation of certain less explicit regulatory passages. On top of ordinary sanctions of up to €1 million, if an operator violates its orders or warnings, it may receive an administrative fine of up to €5 million, plus reimbursement of any sum unjustifiably charged to users. In addition, if it is a violation of the provisions by a player with significant market power, a penalty of up to 5% of total turnover may be imposed.​

 

 

Istat report regarding digitalization: Italy has speeded up but more expertise is required. Istat report regarding digitalization: Italy has speeded up but more expertise is required. GP0|#6b85abb4-1d36-4a74-9015-5b17eea17e03;L0|#06b85abb4-1d36-4a74-9015-5b17eea17e03|Internet;GTSet|#731c59c8-4118-4f4c-8ddc-7170dc5cfcbd7/31/2021 10:00:00 PMhttps://www.unipoltech.com/en/news/istat-report8/27/2021 7:19:32 AM012474About News Open Innovation Contact us Login operatore Access Arca Customers Access Linear Customers Access UnipolSai Customers single cars Access UnipolSai Customers aspx9134htmlFalseaspx<img alt="" src="/en/PublishingImages/Rapporto%20Istat.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />4 minThe most innovative companies continue to resist to the crisis, e-invoicing and cloud adoption is growing. Italy is consistent with the European average in using the IoT and AI, while we are behind when it comes to Big Data analytics.