An Integrated Regulatory Framework for Digital Networks and Services

57 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2017 Last revised: 23 Apr 2017

Alexandre de Streel

University of Namur

Pierre Larouche

Université de Montréal; Center on Regulation in Europe (CERRE)

Date Written: January 27, 2016


This report proposes some recommendations for a robust regulation of digital networks and services in the European Union. In particular, the report recommends: (i) to abandon separate legislative silos for the internet, audiovisual media and electronic communications and replace them with one regulatory framework for all digital infrastructures and another one for all digital services to ensure a level-playing field in the digital value chain, (ii) to streamline and focus digital networks regulation to stimulate deployment and private investment; (iii) to enhance spectrum policy coordination to ensure, among others, Europe leads in 5G rollout and mobile broadband; (iv) to create an appropriate framework for digital services by emphasizing home-country control, limiting specific regulation by relying on general EU rules - e.g. internal market law, competition law, privacy and data protection law, copyright rules and security rules - and committing the necessary resources to enforcement; (v) to refrain from adopting specific additional rules for online platforms at this stage; (vi) to overcome national regulatory barriers through a more effective and efficient institutional design for the whole EU digital ecosystem.

Keywords: Internet regulation, Telecommunications regulation, European Union, ecommerce, digital platforms

Suggested Citation

de Streel, Alexandre and Larouche, Pierre, An Integrated Regulatory Framework for Digital Networks and Services (January 27, 2016). TILEC Discussion Paper No. 2017-010. Available at SSRN: or

Alexandre De Streel (Contact Author)

University of Namur ( email )

8 rempart de la vierge
Namur, 5000

Pierre Larouche

Université de Montréal ( email )

Montreal, Quebec H3T 1B9

Center on Regulation in Europe (CERRE) ( email )

Rue de l'Industrie 42
Brussels, 1040

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