by Carlo Longino

Regulation For Regulation's Sake

The EU sure does love it some telecom regulation, even when it's not necessary. After the EU's telecoms boss said a few months back it would force operators to lower their international roaming rates because it felt they were too high, the operators blinked and said they'd cut their prices. This wasn't good enough for the EU commissioner, who said she'd still introduce new regulations. Now, six more European operators have said they'll cap the wholesale roaming rates they charge other operators -- a main goal of the EU regulations -- and again, it's not good enough for the EU, which says it will still move ahead with plans to regulate the charges. This is getting a little silly. The threat of regulation has been enough to achieve most of the desired effect, but the EU's insistence on using heavy-handed regulation will pretty much ensure they'll get little cooperation in the future from operators. After all, if the inevitable result is more regulations, why bother? Also, again keep in mind that EU regulatory action helped create the problem of high roaming costs.

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