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Opticnet Serv Joined ANISP

Opticnet Serv (https://www.opticnet.ro/) registered in Ploiești, PH, represented by Mr. Sebastian Roman, Director – joined ANISP.

OpticNet is an IT&C company founded in 2004 upon the liberalization of the electronic communications market and is one of the first companies in Romania to launch, starting 2005, internet services through access to the local loop (ADSL, VDSL).

Main object of activity: 6110 – Telecommunications

Products and services: Internet Business, data transmission, telephony, hosting, cloud computing, domain registrations, video streaming (live and on-demand), LIR

Trademarks: DUCADU (European registered trademark)

Websites: opticnet.ro, ducadu.com, livestream.ro

Certificates: ISO 9001, ISO 27001

Urban Network Solutions joined ANISP

Urban Network Solutions (http://www.07internet.ro), a company registered in Năvodari, Constanța County, became a member of ANISP.

The company was founded in early 2017 (but the team has over 20 years of experience in providing electronic communications networks and services) and its main object of activity is provisioning of IT services and consulting.

Urban Network Solutions operates its own underground fiber optic network of over 2000 km, aerial network of over 10,000 km and wireless covering up to 80 km around its base stations.

Types of services:

  1. Enterprise – flexible services with capacity up to n x 10Gbs or n x 40Gbs – Internet, data transmissions, leased lines, VPN;
  2. Wholesale – flexible services with capacities up to n x 100Gbps – IP Transit, Leased Lines, MPLS, VPN, SDH or IP;
  3. Home Users – capacities up to 10Gbps in PON technology;
  4. ICT – Hosting, Colocation, Cloud, Software, Security, CCTV or IP surveillance, Data Center;
  5. LIR.

Huawei Romania became ANISP’s member

Huawei Romania, a leading company both in the Romanian telecommunications environment and worldwide, became a member of ANISP, emphasizing the desire to get more involved both in the initiatives and problems of the industry, as well as in social responsibility projects.

About Huawei:

Huawei is a global provider of infrastructure and smart devices for information and communication technology (ICT). With integrated solutions in four key areas – telecommunications networks, IT, smart devices and cloud services – we are committed to bringing digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected and smart world.

Huawei’s complete portfolio of products, solutions and services is competitive and secure. Through open collaboration with ecosystem partners, we create lasting value for our customers by investing in people’s digital connectivity, smart home development and innovation in organizations of all shapes and sizes.

At Huawei, innovation focuses on customer needs. We invest a lot in basic research, focusing on the technological discoveries that are constantly developing the world. Founded in 1987, Huawei is a privately held company wholly owned by its employees. We have over 194,000 employees globally and operate in over 170 countries and regions. In 2003, Huawei set up the Romanian subsidiary, which currently has over 2,100 employees and cooperates with all major telecommunications operators.

Since entering the Romanian market, Huawei has contributed significantly to the national economy by supporting thousands of jobs directly and indirectly and by a contribution to GDP of over 200 million euros / year. Indirectly, the company has created over 4,100 more jobs in its supply chain and continues to serve both its local customers, having strong partnerships with the four main telecom operators in Romania, and regional customers.

Over time, the company has created an ecosystem of specialists, by supporting the activity and continuous professional development of Romanian engineers. Huawei invests between $ 3 billion and $ 5 billion annually in research and innovation, and at European level has contributed to the development of 23 research institutions in 12 countries and is a key contributor to the digitization process. As one of the leaders in the 5G industry, Huawei is always ready to offer new technologies to facilitate digital transformation in society.

Huawei supports more than 50,000 enterprise customers worldwide, and in the process of digital transformation collaborates with 228 customers on the Fortune Global 500 list. In Shenzhen, Huawei has helped more than 1,800 companies implement digital transformation in the financial, transportation fields. , production, electricity, education and health.

As a social involvement, Huawei focuses its efforts mainly on supporting education, by providing access to connectivity and knowledge related to the latest available technologies. Thus, in 2020 the company launched a program to connect the Internet to schools in rural areas, to support the education of children in Romania and the development of digital skills of teachers and students. Also last year, Huawei offered scholarships for university professors. Huawei also came to the aid of those on the front lines in the fight against the pandemic by donating equipment and masks.

A considerable part of Huawei’s efforts are aimed at promoting the widespread use of renewable resources around the world. By integrating information technology with photovoltaic systems, Huawei is committed to improving solar power generation by increasing energy efficiency by 3% compared to traditional solutions.

Prioritization of vaccination for the personnel exposed to the risk of contacting COVID-19

ANISP supports the AOMR initiative to include exposed personnel in the telecom industry on the list of immunization priorities. To this end, the following request was sent to the Government and the National Steering Committee for Activities on Vaccination against SARS-CoV-2:

Dear Prime Minister,
Dear Sirs,

In this week’s government meeting, Government Decision 12/2021 was approved, which introduces additional population categories in the second stage of the national vaccination campaign against SARS-CoV-2.

Thus, our recent request to include the technical intervention staff – own and subcontracted – in the second stage of vaccination has not yet been solved.

Thus, we want to reiterate the arguments for which, in our opinion, it is absolutely necessary that certain categories of employees of communications operators must fall into this priority category. These are the technical teams that ensure the installation and maintenance of electronic communications networks – from critical levels for the operation of networks, to household-level connections. These people come in daily contact with many people by the nature of the operations carried out.

The activity of electronic communications represents an essential field of modern life, without which it is not possible to carry out in normal conditions the social life even in the period before the declaration of states of emergency / alert and even more so in this period when electronic communications services have has been a vital support for the conduct of economic, social, public institutions and authorities activities as follows:

Fixed telephony and mobile telephony services serve both the population and the institutions and authorities included in the second stage of vaccination. We further mention the main areas and applications that can only work to the extent that the telephony services of electronic communications operators are functional:

  • the 112 emergency service, the Ro-alert service, technically managed by the Special Telecommunications Service, are based on the infrastructure of the telephony operators, without which they cannot operate,
  • telephone scheduling for vaccination, as well as ensuring communication between people in isolation / quarantine and health authorities, family doctors, specialists is carried out through telephone services,
  • any public authority has phone lines in order to ensure communication between citizens and each authority, telephone communication or by alternative means being recommended by the authorities during this period as long as the social / physical distance is necessary.

The internet access service serves both the population and the institutions and authorities included in the second stage of vaccination. We further mention the main areas and applications that can only work to the extent that the internet access service of electronic communications operators is functional:

  • Online scheduling for vaccination
  • Submission of tax returns by taxpayers
  • Teleconferences / videoconferences of Romanian state officials with European or other state officials
  • Payment of fees, taxes through various applications of banks, as well as through the application ghișeul.ro
  • Operation of cash registers of economic agents
  • Payment to traders / economic agents through POS
  • Issuance of reimbursed or free medical prescriptions
  • Making various online orders by citizens
  • Public auctions through SEAP
  • Online schooling
  • Remote working imposed as a legal obligation for employers during the state of alert/emergency
  • Many other applications

The retransmission service of television programs (cable or satellite television – DTH) is the main way in which the population receives the program services of the Romanian Television Company, as well as the other program services of private television in Romania included in the second stage of vaccination.

We also reiterate the request to include in the same stage of vaccination the front-line commercial staff of electronic communications operators, i.e. the staff serving the stores where direct receipts are made from customers who cannot use remote payment methods.

Vaccination of the above two categories at this stage would not only provide their own protection, but would also reduce the potential risk of spreading the disease further.

Accordingly, please order the necessary steps to amend Annex Government Decision 1031/2020 to Subchapter 2, point C, para. 2, point b, point iii as follows:

“Communications, namely the Special Telecommunications Service, national radio and television, the own and subcontracted technical intervention staff of electronic communications operators, as well as their commercial staff working in direct contact with the public.”

We continue to assure you of our full collaboration, thank you.

Sincerely,

Orange Romania SA
Vodafone Romania SA
Telekom Romania Mobile Communications SA
RCS – RDS SA
The National Association of Internet Service Providers in Romania (ANISP)

Legislative consultations on the security of 5G networks and on the transposition of the European Electronic Communications Code

Between August and November 2020, ANISP joined the consultations organized by the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure and Communications regarding the elaboration of some legislative acts.

Thus, regarding the draft law on the security of 5G networks, ANISP stressed the importance of ensuring a correct balance between security requirements and those on free competition. The Association also drew attention to the need to carefully define the notions subject to regulation, in order to ensure the necessary clarity of the law and to avoid over-regulation in the case of network elements that are not strictly related to 5G and / or are not affected by the considered threats (i.e.: passive elements).

Regarding the draft law for the transposition into national law of the European Electronic Communications Code (Directive 2018/1972), ANISP argued the need to clarify, amend or introduce articles on:

  • provision of road infrastructure projects with solutions for electronic communications infrastructure, early – from the design phase;
  • facilities for the execution of coexistence studies necessary for the deployment of the communication infrastructure elements on existing infrastructures;
  • including the installation, maintenance, repair, replacement, modification, refurbishment, relocation or removal of fiber optic cables installed directly in trenches, mini- and micro-trenches – in the category of works that can be performed by the providers of electronic communications services without notice and without a building or demolition permit;
  • other conditions to facilitate the construction and management of electronic communications networks.

ANISP open letter regarding the legislative project to change ANCOM’s governance

OPEN LETTER

addressed to His Excellency Mr. Klaus Werner Iohannis, President of Romania

CC:

ANCOM – to whom it might concern

European Commission, Directorate-General for Communications, Content and Technology Networks (DG-CONNECT) – Mr Roberto Viola, Director-General

Mr. President of Romania,

ANISP, the oldest and most representative professional association of providers of electronic communications networks and services in Romania, noted with deep dismay the almost successful attempt to hijack the decision-making act within ANCOM – the only autonomous authority for administration and regulation of electronic communications and postal services in our country.

Orchestrated by a group of 6 deputies during the extraordinary parliamentary session in August this year, taking advantage of the fact that most companies operating on the electronic communications market were on vacation, the legislative initiative aiming to change ANCOM’s governance model was approved by the Romanian Parliament in emergency procedure (?!), without conducting any prior public consultation – as required by Law no. 52/2003 on decision-making transparency in public administration.

The draft law thus approved, entitled “legislative proposal for amending and supplementing the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 22/2009 on the establishment of the National Authority for Administration and Regulation in Communications ”, despite the fact that it received a “NEGATIVE Opinion” from the Economic and Social Council (nota bene), was nevertheless sent for promulgation by the Romanian Senate (decision chamber) bearing the number L562/2020.

We would like to emphasize from the very beginning that, through the changes it brings to the management and decision-making system within ANCOM, the above-mentioned bill violates not only the principles and good operating practices of the European Union, but even violates the Community law in the field of electronic communications.

The main changes brought to ANCOM’s governance model, criticized by us, are:

  • the 4 members appointed in the Regulatory Committee may be members of political parties [the interdiction from art. 112 paragraph (5) letter e) of the draft law refers only to the president and the two vice-presidents];
  • the president and vice-presidents of ANCOM no longer have to be specialists in electronic communications, for the appointment being sufficient only to have “an experience of at least 5 years in the field of communications, in the field of engineering sciences, in the economic, legal or other fields of social sciences” [Art. 112 paragraph (5) letter a) of the draft law];
  • all 7 members appointed to the Regulatory Committee (therefore, including the president and vice-presidents of ANCOM) may not have long-term higher education, the phrase “at least 5 years of experience in the field” contained in art. 112 paragraph (5) letter a) of the draft law not explicitly requiring the requirement of university studies completed with a bachelor’s degree, but only “experience in the field”.

However, these legislative proposals to modify the current system of organization and decision-making within ANCOM, are flagrantly contrary to the provisions of Directive 2009/140/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009 on the establishment of a General Framework on Electronic Communications:

“The independence of the national regulatory authorities should be strengthened in order to ensure a more effective application of the regulatory framework and to increase their authority and the predictability of their decisions. To this end, express provision should be made in national law to ensure that, in the exercise of its tasks, a national regulatory authority responsible for ex-ante market regulation or for resolution of disputes between undertakings is protected against external intervention or political pressure liable to jeopardise its independent assessment of matters coming before it. Such outside influence makes a national legislative body unsuited to act as a national regulatory authority under the regulatory framework. For that purpose, rules should be laid down at the outset regarding the grounds for the dismissal of the head of the national regulatory authority in order to remove any reasonable doubt as to the neutrality of that body and its imperviousness to external factors. It is important that national regulatory authorities responsible for ex-ante market regulation should have their own budget allowing them, in particular, to recruit a sufficient number of qualified staff. In order to ensure transparency, this budget should be published annually.” [Recital # 13]

“Without prejudice to the provisions of paragraphs 4 and 5, national regulatory authorities responsible for ex-ante market regulation or for the resolution of disputes between undertakings in accordance with Article 20 or 21 of this Directive shall act independently and shall not seek or take instructions from any other body in relation to the exercise of these tasks assigned to them under national law implementing Community law…” [Pct. 3, letter (b) 3a)].

Last but not least, the legislative proposals in question will make the decision-making mechanisms more difficult and will burden the ANCOM budget, favoring the political class – which will be able to appoint new members in well-paid positions from taxpayers’ money – evident from the speed with which the project was adopted by Parliament, as opposed to the much-needed legislative projects that have been dragging on for years.

Considering all the above, but also the criticisms formulated towards this draft law by the Economic and Social Council in its Negative Opinion no. 7903 of August 27, 2020 (to which we agree without reservations):

  • the legislative proposal fails to bring sufficient arguments in favor of the establishment of the new regulatory committee, the attributions established for it being able to be fulfilled by the already existing structures within ANCOM. The argument that ANCOM’s management is aligned in terms of appointment and management to other bodies, namely the Financial Supervision Agency and the National Energy Regulatory Agency, is not accompanied by an objective substantiation that would reveal the need to create the Regulatory Committee of ANCOM;
  • the explanatory memorandum does not provide a sound justification for increasing the number of functions, by creating the new committee;
  • the salaries of management should be related to the average salary in the economy, and not to the average salary per institution, in order to avoid possible conflicts of interest;
  • the abolition of the criterion of non-membership of a political party for ordinary members of the committee, the appointment and removal of the Regulatory Committee by Parliament, may lead to attempts to politicize the committee, as well as undesirable political interference in the committee’s work;
  • the elimination of the provisions regarding the mandatory higher education, as well as of the managerial experience for the ANCOM management, is likely to prejudice the quality of the management act,

we kindly ask you, Mr. President of Romania, not to promulgate the draft law L562/2020 and to send it back to the Parliament for reconsideration, as well as in general – to use all the legal means available to the President of Romania (including Constitutional cross-check) to prevent the adoption of such provisions with a negative impact on the electronic communications ecosystem.

Sincerely,

the National Association of Internet Service Providers in Romania

ANISP requests ANCOM to perform a market analysis regarding the wholesale and retail market of IP peering interconnection

Pursuant to art. 92 and the following from GEO no. 111/2011 and art. 61, f) of GEO no. 22/2009, ANISP requested ANCOM to identify the relevant market for IP peering interconnection, to carry out a market analysis in order to determine the competitive situation and to impose specific obligations on providers of electronic communications networks and services having significant market power, in order to address existing deficiencies in local IP interconnections (within Romania).

The local IP interconnections of operators having obvious significant market power do not have sufficient capacity to provide quality inter-network services with other operators within the country – fact which causes profoundly negative effects, especially during the current crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic – when a series of services and applications for remote work / teleconferencing / remote assistance over the Internet – have malfunctioned.

While in 2009 the European Commission rejected such a regulation initiated by the competent authority of Poland, based on considerations such as the equivalence of IP peering services with those of IP transit – a true finding, to some extent, for older Internet-based applications, such as such as FTP and / or HTTP browsing – in 2020 the nature of Internet-based applications has changed and small variations in service quality (QoS) and network latency can lead to malfunctions of these applications (teleconferencing, remote work, applications that require real-time reactions). This is, moreover, one of the reasons that made 5G technology necessary – as 4G technology had a latency considered too high for the needs of the present and of the future.

Response to the MTIC request on measures to address the effects of the pandemic

On April 29, 2020, the National Association of Internet Service Providers in Romania (ANISP) sent the Government, through Mr. Dragoș Cosmin Lucian Preda, State Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure and Communications (MTIC), ANISP’s opening to participate to the process of identifying mechanisms to ensure the development of online education for all categories of students, given the state of emergency established by Decree no. 195/2020, as a result of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic.

ANISP can provide the necessary space for meetings with respect to the safety distance imposed by the circumstances – in case of discussions with physical presence; simultaneously being able to provide a virtual space for remote video conferencing.

The Competition Council fines Netcity Telecom for abuse of a dominant position

Competition Council communique of February 2, 2020:

The Competition Council sanctioned Netcity Telecom SRL (formerly Netcity Telecom SA) with a fine of 2,183,552 lei (approximately 460,000 euros) for abuse of dominant position.

Netcity Telecom SRL is the concessionaire of the Netcity network, having as responsibilities the design, building and operating the underground telecommunications infrastructure of the Bucharest Municipality, with the main purpose of hosting the electronic communications networks previously installed, mainly, on the elecricity poles in the capital city. Netcity Telecom SRL holds a monopoly position, having, by means of a concession contract, the exclusive and unrestricted right to implement and manage the Netcity network, for a period of 49 years. “Netcity” is a support for communications networks and must be made available to all telecom operators who want to provide services in Bucharest, in an equal, transparent and non-discriminatory manner. The competition authority found that, during the period 2010-2019, the Netcity network concessionaire abused its dominant position by imposing inequitable conditions regarding:

  • pricing methods depending on the degree of occupancy of a functional loop (the operators paid inversely in proportion to the length of the contracted duct);
  • obliging customers to contract minimum lengths of infrastructure;
  • imposing FTTB connections (fiber optics pre-equipped ducts), as long as they are normally optional for customers;
  • limiting the option of the operators to install, under clear and transparent conditions, various underground transmission lines (they could not install cables other than fiber optics);
  • contractual terms longer than the final customers wanted (5 years even if they wanted 1-2 years) and payment of the rent related to the 5-year contract.

“As we have said on other occasions, we do not dispute the usefulness of the project, which aims both to increase the quality of data transmission services and to improve the visual aspect of the city, but it must comply with the competition rules so that the costs incurred by operators (and transferred to consumers) should not be unfair. A large company, which holds a monopoly position, must have a fair behavior towards its partners and create clear, transparent and reasonable procedures for access conditions ”, said Bogdan Chiriţoiu, President of the Competition Council.

Netcity Telecom SRL admitted the offense and received a 15% reduction in the fine.

In the same investigation, the Competition Council found that, between Nov 26, 2013 – Oct 20, 2016, the administration of the Municipality of Bucharest, through the General Mayor and the General Council of the Municipality of Bucharest, did not take the necessary steps in the process of regulating the conditions to access the Netcity infrastructure. In this way (by not acting), the Bucharest City Hall violated the competition regulations (art.8 of the Competition Law), favoring the continuation of the abuse of Netcity Telecom’s dominant position until 2016, when the provisions regarding the physical infrastructure regime of electronic communications networks, as well as those regarding the establishment of measures to reduce the cost of installing electronic communications networks (Law no. 159/2016), entered into force.

“Given that at present, in several cities of the country there are similar projects for the development of similar networks, the conclusions in this case represent a warning for all involved actors, companies and mayors”, added the President of the Council competition. We recall the investigation into a possible abuse of Netcity’s dominant position was initiated in 2016, at the Ines Group SRL complaint, and was connected with the investigation initiated in April 2019, at the Interlan Internet Exchange SRL complaint. Currently, Netcity Telecom is part of a group of five companies active in the field of energy infrastructure and telecommunications. At the end of the first semester of 2019, Netcity’s infrastructure included 1,520 kilometers of underground fiber optic network, to which 20,300 buildings are connected. Of the total, 560 kilometers of network were built by Netcity Telecom from the beginning of 2018 until the end of June 2019, infrastructure with 7,500 buildings connected. At present, the works continue, mainly on the secondary streets.

ANISP also recalls the investigation of the Competition Council has been requested by the business environment since the beginning of the Netcity project, but the Council did not take the necessary steps until after being compelled by a court, following the complaint of Ines Group SRL (member in ANISP Board of Directors) in file 4890/2/2015, finalized with the civil sentence no 3489 / 23.12.2015.

ANISP to ask Competition Council initiating a sectorial investigation regarding the interconnection of Internet networks (IP peering) and a possible abuse of a dominant position by RCS-RDS

– Press Release –

ANISP (National Association of Internet and Electronic Communications Service Providers in Romania) announces its intention to request the Competition Council to start investigating a possible abuse of a dominant position by RCS-RDS, since the company refuses to accept interconnecting its IP network (IP peering) under fair conditions.

Interconnection is very important so that users of different networks can communicate with each other in optimal conditions, having maximum availability services, minimum access delay and without having national traffic transiting networks outside the country. When a direct interconnection is not available, a server – for example www.your-city-hall.com hosted on Operator A’s network could be accessed significantly harder, sometimes even inaccessible for subscribers of Operator B. Although in the past indirect interconnection (transit of 3rd party networks often outside the country) was very much used, the tendency of the Information Society to move all applications over the Internet makes this solution no longer viable, becoming a drawback for the development of e- government.

Currently it is very important to have the interconnection point as close as possible to the traffic’s origin and destination, as well as to correctly size the interconnection capacity. Otherwise, Internet services involving inter-network traffic will be of poor quality: as some of the traffic will traverse intermediary networks, the transfer speed will be lower, access time will be higher, the number of interruptions/failures will increase and last but not least – there will be an increase in data security breaches.

Unfortunately, RCS-RDS – the dominant player in the local cable TV and fixed internet market, with a market share estimated by the ANCOM (the regulatory authority) at over 50% of the total number of subscribers – chooses to not participate in Romanian Internet eXchange points so that the Internet traffic changed with some Romanian operators travels through Frankfurt or Budapest, etc. Alternatively, RCS-RDS requires operators who want interconnection in Romania to buy such services at an unjustified high price – taking advantage of the fact that tariffs for this kind of interconnection are not regulated – without offering the interconnection partners similar terms based on reciprocity.

For example – in the case of telephony services – the operators pay each other tariffs regulated by ANCOM when making inter-network calls, but in the case of Internet traffic a dominant operator may require any tariff for interconnection and may refuse to pay a symmetrical tariff, although it thus adversely affects its own subscribers, which will not be able to optimally access the services and content hosted in networks not directly interconnected.

The IP peering brings obvious benefits in terms of both quality and reduced costs for Internet traffic, thus refusing to make such interconnections – either explicitly or by setting cost barriers – is clearly an anti-competitive practice, meant to prevent the development of competing networks / services.

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