On 1 December 2021, the Law on Electronic Communications of the Republic of Lithuania on amendment to the Law No. IX-2135, which transposes the European Electronic Communications Code into the Lithuanian national law, will enter into force.
The new Law on Electronic Communications will bring a number of changes to both business and consumers:
Broader definition of an electronic communications service. In view of the changes in the services used for communication and the technical means of providing them, the definition of the e-communications service consisting of the transmission of signals over electronic communications networks is replaced by a broader definition based on functional principles rather than purely technical parameters. The new definition of the e-communications service will cover three groups of services: internet access services, interpersonal communication services and services consisting mainly of signal transmission. This is a significant change in the e-communications sector, as the electronic communications service expands to include non-number-based interpersonal communication services (e.g. Viber, Whatsapp, etc.). In other words, the service whose purpose is to communicate with another person, whether or not a telephone number is used, becomes a field regulated by the e-communications sector.
Radio spectrum management. EU-wide harmonisation of the allocation and use of the necessary radio spectrum is envisaged for the coherent deployment and development of 5G wireless mobile networks in Europe. An EU-wide harmonised peer review procedure of allocation of radio spectrum has been established, allowing EU Member States to comment on draft decisions by other Member States. There is also a longer period of validity (20 years) for authorisations to use EU-wide harmonised spectrum, mandatory requirements for the efficient use of radio spectrum, which, together with harmonised radio spectrum management, should encourage investment in and use of 5G networks.
Access to ultra-high bandwidth networks. Operators will be encouraged to co-invest in high-bandwidth public communications networks (both fixed and mobile), thus sharing business risk. An operator with significant market power will be able to offer to co-invest in the construction of new networks under clear and transparent conditions. This should improve the competitive environment and encourage joint investment in new technologies and smart grids. Market research and access regulation. The law stipulates that in order to ensure the consistency of the regulatory environment and reduce the administrative burden, the national regulatory authority (RRT) will be required to conduct market research every 5 years, instead of 3 as before. RRT will be able to apply symmetric regulation of access to wires and cables and related facilities to providers of electronic communications networks or owners of such wires, cables and related facilities when duplication of these network elements and related facilities is not economically efficient or physically possible. Universal e-communications service. Requirements for universal e-communications services are updated. The scope of universal electronic communications services has been revised: the obligation to provide telephone services via payphones and services of the provision of information on subscribers of public telephone communications will be abolished, but the obligation to provide affordable universal e-communications services to certain groups of consumers will be introduced. Consumer protection. The law will bring favourable changes to ensure the protection of consumer interests. The adoption of legislation implementing this law will make it simpler and easier to change service provider for consumers using both interpersonal communications and internet access services.
The conditions for ordering various service packages will be clarified. You can become acquainted with the new Law on Electronic Communications at: https://www.e-tar.lt/portal/lt/legalAct/c753b2904dc511ec862fdcbc8b3e3e05
You can find the European Electronic Communications Code at: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/LT/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32018L1972&from=EN
Electronic communications market participants are also invited to actively participate in the ongoing public consultations on the legal acts implementing the new Law on Electronic Communications, the drafts of which are published in the information system of the legal acts of the Chancellery of the Seimas at: https://e-seimas.lrs.lt/portal/documentSearch/lt
Updated on 2021-12-01