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C 91/42 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 26.3.

98

COMMOM POSITION (EC) No 16/98


adopted by the Council on 12 February 1998
with a view to adopting Directive 98/. . ./EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of
. . . amending Directive 97/33/EC with regard to operator number portability and carrier
pre-selection

(98/C 91/04)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF Whereas on 17 July 1997 the European Parliament
THE EUROPEAN UNION, adopted a resolution (5) calling on the Commission to
submit a proposal for an amendment to an already
existing directive with a view to introducing carrier
pre-selection and number portability;
Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European
Community and in particular Article 100a thereof,
Whereas, in the interests of the consumer and taking into
account specific national market situations, national
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission (1), regulatory authorities may extend the obligation to
provide carrier pre-selection with call-by-call override to
organisations operating public telecommunications
Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social networks without significant market power, where this
Committee (2), does not impose a disproportionate burden on such
organisations or create a barrier to entry in the market
for new operators;
Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in
Article 189b of the Treaty (3),
Whereas Directive 97/33/EC of the European Parliament
and of the Council of 30 June 1997 on interconnection in
telecommunications with regard to ensuring universal
Whereas the Commission organised a broad public
service and interoperability through application of the
consultation on the basis of a Green Paper on a
principles of open network provision (ONP) (6) should
numbering policy for telecommunications services in
therefore be amended accordingly,
Europe;

Whereas this consultation underlined the importance of


equal quantitative and qualitative access to numbering
resources for all market players and the crucial HAVE ADOPTED THIS DIRECTIVE:
significance of adequate numbering mechanisms, in
particular for number portability and carrier selection, as
key facilitators of consumer choice and effective
competition in a liberalised telecommunications
environment; Article 1

Directive 97/33/EC is hereby amended as follows:


Whereas the Council adopted a resolution (4) on 22
September 1997 inviting the Commission to submit
proposals to the European Parliament and to the Council
regarding the accelerated introduction of number 1. the following definitions shall be added to Article
portability and regarding the introduction of carrier 2(1):
pre-selection;
‘(h) “subscriber” means any natural or legal person
1 who or which is party to a contract with the
( ) OJ C 330, 1.11.1997, p. 19, and OJ C 13, 17.1.1998, p.
10.
provider of publicly available
(2) OJ C 73, 9.3.1998, p. 107. telecommunications services for the supply of
(3) Opinion of the European Parliament of 20 November 1997 such services;
(OJ C 371, 8.12.1997, p. 180), Council common position of
12 February 1998 and Decision of the European Parliament
of . . . (not yet published in the Official Journal)). (5) OJ C 286, 22.9.1997, p. 232.
(4) OJ C 303, 4.10.1997, p. 1. (6) OJ L 199, 26.7.1997, p. 32.
26.3.98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 91/43

(i) “geographic number” means a number from the In order to ensure that charges to consumers are
national numbering plan where part of its digit reasonable, national regulatory authorities shall
structure contains geographic significance used ensure that pricing for interconnection related to the
for routing calls to the physical location of the provision of this facility is reasonable.’;
network termination point of the subscriber to
whom the number has been assigned;’;
4. the first sentence of Article 20(2) shall be replaced by
the following:

‘2. Deferment of the obligations under Article 12(5)


and (7) may be requested where the Member States
2. the first subparagraph of Article 12(5) shall be concerned can prove that they would impose an
replaced by the following: excessive burden on certain organisations or classes of
organisation.’.

‘5. National regulatory authorities shall encourage


the earliest possible introduction of operator number
portability whereby subscribers who so request can Article 2
retain their number(s) on the fixed public telephone
network and the integrated services digital network 1. Member States shall take the measures necessary to
(ISDN) independent of the organisation providing comply with this Directive before 31 December 1998.
service, in the case of geographic numbers at a They shall forthwith inform the Commission thereof.
specific location and in the case of other than
geographic numbers at any location, and shall ensure
that this facility is available by 1 January 2000 at the When Member States adopt these measures they shall
latest or, in those countries which have been granted contain a reference to this Directive or shall be
an additional transition period, as soon as possible accompanied by such reference on the occasion of their
after, but no later than two years after any later date official publication. The methods of making such
agreed for full liberalisation of voice telephony reference shall be laid down by the Member States.
services.’;
2. Member States shall communicate to the Commission
the text of the main provisions of domestic law which
they adopt in the field governed by this Directive.

3. the following paragraph shall be added to Article


12:
Article 3

‘7. National regulatory authorities shall require at This Directive shall enter into force on the day of its
least organisations operating public publication in the Official Journal of the European
telecommunications networks as set out in Part 1 of Communities.
Annex I and notified by national regulatory
authorities as organisations having significant market
power, to enable their subscribers, including those
using ISDN, to access the switched services of any Article 4
interconnected provider of publicly available
telecommunications services. For this purpose This Directive is addressed to the Member States.
facilities shall be in place by 1 January 2000 at the
latest or, in those countries which have been granted
an additional transition period, as soon as possible
thereafter, but no later than two years after any later
date agreed for full liberalisation of voice telephony Done at . . .
services, which allow the subscriber to choose these
services by means of pre-selection with a facility to For the European Parliament For the Council
override any pre-selected choice on a call-by-call basis
by dialling a short prefix. The President The President
C 91/44 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 26.3.98

STATEMENT OF THE COUNCIL’S REASONS

I. INTRODUCTION

1. On 1 October 1997, the Commission adopted a proposal amending Directive 97/33/EC


on interconnection with regard to operator number portability and carrier
pre-selection.

The proposal is based on Article 100a of the EC Treaty.

2. The European Parliament delivered its first-reading opinion on 20 November 1997.

The Econonic and Social Committee delivered its opinion on 10 December 1997.

In the light of these opinions, the Commission submitted an amended proposal on 1


December 1997.

3. The Council adopted its common position, under Article 189b of the Treaty, on 12
February 1998.

II. OBJECTIVE

The proposal was put forward by the Commission in response to the results of the public
consultation on its Green Paper on numbering policy and the views of the European
Parliament and the Council as expressed respectively in their resolutions of 17 July and 22
September 1997.

This proposal amends in two main respects the Interconnection Directive, which is an
essential part of the new regulatory framework for the liberalised telecommunications
market from 1 January 1998. It brings forward the date for the introduction of operator
number portability from 1 January 2003 at least in all major centres of population to 1
January 2000 for all of the fixed network and creates a legal base for EU-wide
introduction of carrier pre-selection by 1 January 2000.

III. COMMON POSITION

1. General comments

The Council’s common position is generally in line with the objective of the
Commission proposal to require the rapid introduction of number portability and
carrier pre-selection. However, the Council has amended the proposal so that the
common position more closely reflects the views expressed by the Council in its
Resolution of 22 September 1997 with regard to the date for the introduction of
number portability and carrier pre-selection and on whom the obligation to offer
carrier pre-selection may be placed.

The Council has accepted the one amendment proposed by the European Parliament in
its first reading which extends the possibility for deferment under Article 20(2) of the
Interconnection Directive (1) for number portability to include carrier pre-selection.

(1) It should be noted that the Commission has provided a statement for the minutes of the Council which
clarifies the circumstances under which deferment under Article 20(2) would be granted.
26.3.98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 91/45

2. Specific comments

The modifications to the Commission’s proposal, apart from the amendment from the
European Parliament, are summarised hereafter:

(i) Date for the introduction of number portability and carrier pre-selection (Articles
12(5) and 12(7))
As indicated above, the common position confirms introduction of these facilities
by 1.1.2000, but allows for later introduction of not more than two years after the
respective dates for liberalisation of voice telephony services in those Member
States (ES, IRL, P, GR and LUX) which have been granted a transition period in
that respect.
This would therefore give these Member States the same amount of time as other
Member States in which to prepare for the introduction of these new facilities after
the liberalisation of voice telephony services.
It is also to be noted that with a view to conformity of presentation the reference
to the date of 1 January 2000 has been deleted from the fourth recital.

(ii) Scope of the obligation to provide carrier pre-selection (Article 12(7))


The common position goes further than the Commission proposal in that it allows
Member States to extend, in the interest of the consumer, the obligation to provide
carrier pre-selection to operators other than those with significant market power
(‘. . . at least . . . organisations having significant market power . . .’).
In order to clarify the circumstances in which national regulatory authorities may
extend this obligation to organisations without significant market power, a new
recital has been added.

(iii) Reference to integrated services digital network (ISDN) (Article 12(5) and 12(7))
In order to clarify that operators are obliged to offer number portability and carrier
pre-selection to all subscribers using the fixed public telephone network, including
those using ISDN, the common position contains a specific reference to ISDN in
paragraphs 5 and 7 of Article 12.

(iv) Other changes


Where it has made other changes to the Commission proposal, the Council’s
attitude has been guided by a concern to:
— ensure consistency with the Interconnection Directive (i.e. the last subparagraph
of Article 12(5) relating to reasonable charges to the consumer for the provision
of number portability has been added to Article 12(7) so that this concept also
applies to carrier pre-selection),
— clarify the scope of certain provisions, in particular in what circumstances
subscribers can retain their numbers on the fixed network (i.e. in Article 12(5)
the term ‘operator number portability’ is used; a reference to ‘geographic’ and
non-geographic numbers has been inserted; definitions of ‘subscriber’ and
‘geographic number’ have been added to Article 2 of the Interconnection
Directive).