The European Commission has today opened a public consultation, relating to the Communication that it adopted on 19 Nov 2004, entitled "Challenges for the European Information Society beyond 2005", which has a time horizon running to 2010.

The Communication, document COM(2004)757 final, briefly addresses the regulatory framework for electronic communications, and mentions that "there may be new disruptive technologies in the pipeline", and that "current policies", such as telecommunications regulation or spectrum management, "will therefore need to adjust to new developments".

Reference is also made in the Communication to (new) requirements for interoperability, regulation of intellectual property, rules applying to mobile payments and micro payments, protection of privacy and the requirements of law enforcement agencies, but the document contains no detailed discussion of telecommunications law and regulation, and makes no specific proposals for modifications to existing regulation, the withdrawal of regulation, or new regulations.

Today's consultation is not a new or additional document, but rather a 1-page questionnaire, inviting interested parties to express their views, including on regulation if they would wish to do so, and containing the following questions:

1) According to you, what are the main technological, economical and societal developments that public authorities have to take into account while preparing the Information Society policy initiative for the next five years?

2) Do you agree with the 8 clusters put forward in the Communication as the most relevant and comprehensive for the strategy up to 2010? Do you identify others? What would be your Top 3 priority clusters and why?

3) In each of your top 3 priority areas, what are the priority actions to be launched by national policy agendas or by EU level initiatives (regulation, legislation, pilot projects, raising awareness, exchange of best practices)?

The deadline for responses is 16 Jan 2005.

The questionnaire can be accessed by clicking here.

The full text of CommunicationbCOM(2004)757 final can be accessed by clicking here.