Digital policy update: eco evaluates drafts for digital and gigabit strategy and DSA
- eco evaluates drafts for digital and gigabit strategy
- EU Parliament formally votes for DSA and DMA
Ahead of the parliamentary summer recess, drafts of several network policy strategy papers became public last week. These include the long-awaited gigabit strategy from the German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV), which is expected to be approved by the cabinet next Wednesday, as well as the draft of a new digital strategy, which is expected at the cabinet meeting on 30 or 31 August. In addition, the German federal government’s startup strategy is expected to be presented on 27 July.
According to eco Chair of the Board Oliver Süme, the draft of the digital strategy shows important approaches for setting the course for digitalisation. At the same time, Süme assesses important factors for a successful digital transformation, such as the strengthening of digital infrastructures, as altogether too vague. They should be further specified and underpinned with measurable goals and clear timetables. How trust and integrity in digital technologies can be further strengthened in the future is not adequately addressed.
Gigabit strategy: 10Gigabit/s-ready Internet must become the standard
From the point of view of the eco Association, it is also important to define clear milestones and goals in the course of the gigabit strategy. Should these be missed, contrary to the stipulation made, default options must already be provided for now. According to eco Board member Klaus Landefeld, 10 Gigabit/s-ready networks should become the actual standard for all telecommunications networks to be built, to ensure that Germany is truly competitive as a gigabit society.
Moreover, the federal government, the states and the municipalities must coordinate more closely with regard to the politically desired expansion targets in order to quickly advance the gigabit expansion, Landefeld continued. In particular, the much-needed acceleration in building and planning can only be achieved in practice if construction-related legal procedures are digitalised, approval requirements are eliminated and similar bureaucratic simplifications are made.
DSA & Trusted Flagger: functioning voluntary system is forced into legislative corset
Milestones in network policy were also reached at the European level last week: The EU Parliament formally voted on the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA). In the view of eco’s Managing Director Alexander Rabe, the DSA offers the opportunity to adapt the horizontal legal framework to the technological leaps in development of the past 20 years and thus to replace the Ecommerce Directive. Even if the Ecommerce Directive no longer fully reflects the realities of digital communication, eco welcomes the fact that the DSA retains or builds on its basic pillars – such as limitation of liability based on notice and takedown, the country-of-origin principle and the prohibition of general surveillance.
However, the situation around the Trusted Flagger, where a functioning voluntary system was forced into a legislative corset, was regrettable, Rabe continued. The eco’s Managing Director is also critical of the planned filters. Rabe further clarifies that after the entry into force of the DSA, national parallel regulations, such as the German Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG), should be quickly adapted.