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European regulatory scholar slaps on ETNO’s wrist

One may wonder if the Afro-Asian thinkers are crying wolf while addressing SPNP doctrine of ETNO. They should listen to J. Scott Marcus, an accomplished researcher and consultant: “The interconnection proposals that are publicly known, specifically including the ETNO proposal, are ill-advised and should be rejected.” Marcus further said:

Turning to the interconnection proposals in general, and the ETNO proposal in particular, we think that they are particularly ill-advised, both in terms of what they are seeking to do, and in terms of their likely consequences.

The Sending Party Network Pays (SPNP) principle put forward by ETNO is likely to negatively impact social welfare, and not “just” by hampering innovation. They would unambiguously tend to increase the price that content providers pay; however, for a variety of reasons, any cost decreases to consumers of content are likely to be less than these increases.

Referring to ITR, the German scholar believes, “There is no basis for a radical expansion in the number or nature of entities or activities subject to ITU authority.”

A quite huge number of changes have been put forward. Many of these serve to expand the ITU’s authority, and to bring entities within the reach of the ITRs (and more generally the ITU) that historically were in one way or another exempted. Some create new interconnection obligations that in our judgment are ill-advised; others extend the scope of the ITRs to deal with policy areas (including security, and child protection) that are normally dealt with in other fora, and in other ways.

We suggest that Europeans should not support proposals that would not pass muster if put forward by a European institution. Market mechanisms should be preferred to intervention unless a clear harm can be identified, and no intervention should be implemented unless it can be shown to be effective, efficient, and proportionate (i.e. no more intrusive than necessary) in dealing with the harm. The vast majority of the proposed changes to the ITRs that have been put forward to date fall far short of this standard.

“Revising the ITRs: A European policy perspective” – authored by J. Scott Marcus, can be downloaded from here.


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