After a lengthy final discussion, the Dutch Upper House (Eerste Kamer) has accepted, without holding a vote, the Proposal of Law 28851 to Change the Telecommunications Act.
The main points of discussion were:
- the powers of regulatory authority OPTA
- treatment of rights-of-way in the Act
- solutions to spam.
The way the Act (wetsvoorstel Wijziging van de Telecommunicatiewet en enkele andere wetten in verband met de implementatie van een nieuw Europees geharmoniseerd regelgevingskader voor elektronische communicatiewerken en -diensten en de nieuwe dienstenrichtlijn van de Commissie van de Europese Gemeenschappen) is worded, OPTA will have a double obligation to motivate its decisions.
For cases which have considerable consequences for the market, OPTA will have to sufficiently motivate why the measures it has taken are the proper ones and why a less stringent measure would not have sufficed. This motivation must encompass the foreseeable consequences of the measure, in qualitative as well as quantitative terms (if reasonably feasible).
Chapter V on rights-of-way will be revised entirely before the Summer. The framework provided by the Act on this matter is therefore only temporary.
The issue of spam is not touched by the Act and a large number of legislators felt that this is a missed opportunity to tackle the problem.