Insights BEREC issues call for input on its Report on Member States’ best practices to support the defining of adequate broadband internet access service (IAS) within the framework of the universal service

In 2020, BEREC published the first Report on Member States’ best practices to support the defining of adequate broadband IAS.

Article 84(1) of the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC) states that Member States, in line with the universal service provision, must ensure that all consumers have access to an adequate broadband internet access service and to voice communications services at an affordable price and of a quality as stated in national law, including the underlying connection, at a fixed location.

Article 84(3) further provides that each Member State must, in the light of national conditions and the minimum bandwidth enjoyed by most consumers within the territory of that Member State, and taking into account the BEREC report on best practices, define the broadband internet access service for the purposes of paragraph 1 with a view to ensuring the bandwidth necessary for social and economic participation in society. The adequate broadband internet access service must be capable of delivering the bandwidth necessary for supporting at least the minimum set of services set out in Annex V.

The same paragraph states that the Report shall be updated regularly to reflect technological advances and changes in consumer usage patterns.

BEREC has issued a call for input from stakeholders to assist it in preparing the Report before a public consultation takes place.

The Report is intended to cover the following issues:

  • the policy principle – Article 84 of the EECC;
  • relevant experience that BEREC can focus on; and
  • the state of play in the definition of adequate broadband in the context of universal service (definition, methodology used in defining adequate broadband IAS, obligations, funding, monitoring, and compliance).

The Report will also address the challenges that Member States face when implementing adequate broadband IAS if any arise.

Stakeholders are invited to share their views on the following:

  • relevant experiences or criteria considered useful to support Member States in defining adequate broadband IAS;
  • Minimum requirements for defining adequate broadband IAS within the framework of the universal service provision (e.g. upload and download speed, data volume, etc);
  • views on whether other services, in addition to those listed in Annex V of the EECC, are needed for social and economic inclusion;
  • criteria for end-users benefiting from the universal service provision; and
  • affordability (e.g. maximum retail price, special retail prices for certain user groups, etc) and/or availability measures (e.g. geographical territories, distance from existing network, connection cost, etc) necessary to ensure access to adequate broadband IAS.

The deadline for responding is 9 June 2023. Stakeholders will also have an opportunity at a later stage to provide further submissions to BEREC when the Report goes out to public consultation in Autumn 2023. To access the call for input, click here.