EU plans two-tier telecoms regulator

EU plans two-tier telecoms regulator

Who watches the watchdogs?

The European Union has claimed that telecoms watchdogs have become too close to the industries they are supposed to monitor.

"There are too many national regulators which obey industry and government," said EU communications commissioner Viviane Reding.

Reding maintained that a "second pair of eyes" is needed to ensure that the same standards are applied across the whole of Europe.

The plans, which have already received the backing of Strasbourg, would create a second level of regulation to monitor the decisions of Ofcom and other telecoms regulators in Europe.

Other measures proposed by the European Telecom Market Authority will push for clearer broadband marketing, quicker changeover of mobile and landline telephone numbers and calls to a freephone number no matter where the user is in Europe.

Reding is also keen to spread Wi-Fi throughout the continent's territories. "Wireless broadband for all is high on my agenda with no citizen left behind," she said.

The commissioner has now begun a tour of the region to convince member states to back the plans.