European Competitive Telecommunications Association

European Competitive Telecommunications Association

The European Competitive Telecommunications Association was formed in 1997 by Robert J. Dombkowski and Elizabeth J. Schumacher, founders of MCN, UK, who collectively brought together a group of telecoms resellers and suppliers in Europe in order to push for deregulation of the telecommunications market across Western and Eastern Europe. The founding members included high ranking executives of the major telecom players in Europe including Nick Jeffries of Cable and Wireless (, Michael Potter of Esprit Telecom (now of Paradigm Ventures), Hans Gerber of SITA-Equant, Gustav Schaefer of Unisource Carrier Services, Ian Ashby of Lucent Technologies, Claude Simpson, the president of Immix Telecom (ECTA Member of the Year, 1999), Holland Taylor of USA GlobalLink, and Michael Rhodes of Coudert Brothers.

Prior to 1987, the European telecommunications market consisted predominantly of monopolies or telecommunications organizations (TO's) such as BT, France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom. In 1987, the European Union adopted the 1987 Green Paper that essentially stated it was in Europe's best interests to overhaul the current system and liberalize telecommunications services. As a result, from 1988 to 1998 the European Commission adopted multiple directives that obligated member states to open markets for equipment, telecom services, value-added, data services, satellite, mobile and voice to competition.

Member States set up national regulatory agencies (NRA's) that oversaw these directives and developed policies and procedures for telecommunications organizations to follow. The directives provided a framework for the EU commission to ensure compliance and take judicial action when necessary. In 1990 the Open Network Provision (ONP) Framework Directive was adopted by the EU that established regulations for open access to the existing infrastructure and networks, interconnection and 'fair pricing' for resellers.

ECTA was established as a result of restrictive practices by former monopolies to limit activities by resellers to access networks and obtain fair pricing. Committees were established within the organization to collectively respond to new EU directives and written and 'unwritten' policies that were carried out by NRA's. ECTA responded to numerous proposed directives and called for regulations to be developed to better protect reseller interests and encourage enforcement in the spirit of the original 1987 Green Paper. ECTA has contributed white papers and had input into many policy telecom policies since its inception in 1997.

ECTA also serves as a forum for carriers and resellers to meet and discuss openly issues that are in the interests of the parties. ECTA has also served to educate the telecommunications market, providing information and market research on European telecommunications as well as a market forum for new products and services. Since its formation in 1997, ECTA has grown to over 300 member companies and has expanded its interest to mobile communications and VAR's (value-added resellers).

Recent whitepages, presentations and articles from ECTA include: (

ECTA: Telecoms Watchdogs Lack Powers To Fight Monopolies, Study Finds;Benchmark of 19 European countries shows lowest prices, highest investment where regulatorshave strong tools to enforce EU pro-competition rules,;

Poland, the Czech Republic, Greece and Belgium have the worst telecommunications regulatorsin Europe, according to a study carried out for the European Competitive Telecom Association,an industry group that promotes the interests of new entrants into the market.; Annually, ECTA produces a report presenting main achievements and documents issued during the year. ECTA's 2006 Annual Regulatory Review -Click here to access the 2006 ECTA Annual Regulatory Review (pdf 318 KB). (

ECTA Working Groups achievements through 2006. Business Economics Working GroupBroadband Working Groupe-Commerce Working GroupImplementation Working GroupMobile Working GroupPublic Policy GroupBusiness Services

ECTA's publications in 2006

1. Position papers and responses to consultations2. Presentations3. Briefings & reports4. Press releases6. ECTA Broadband scorecard results7. ECTA Regulatory scorecard results

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