EU issues warning on telecom rules

The European Commission sent formal warnings to more than a dozen countries for breaking EU telecom rules, a Dow Jones report said.

The report said the warnings applied to infringements ranging from insufficient emergency lines to failing to allow mobile phone number portability.

Eleven countries did not have emergency telephone lines. These included Greece, Ireland, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, the Netherlands, Portugal and Slovakia, the report said.

Belgium and Poland received legal warnings for failing to conduct reviews of the electronic communications markets, including email, which were required under EU telecom rules. Slovenia was also given a legal warning because number portability - or being able to keep one's number when changing operators - was still not fully available, the report said.

Another area that concerned EU regulators was the universal service in the telecom sector. These rules guaranteed basic services for consumers such as connection and telephone services at a fixed location, public pay phones, directory services and, where appropriate, measures for disabled users with minimum levels of availability and affordability, the report said.

But regulators worried that governments only designated the former, usually state-owned incumbent, as providing such a service, the report further said.

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