Telecommunications Act 2021
Telecommunications Act 2021, in force since November 1st 2021 (BGBl. I Nr. 190/2021)
Focal points of the telecommunications act 2021
One of the focal points is accelerating the expansion of broadband as well of fixed networks and mobile networks. In order to create investment incentives in the area of network expansion, the Telecommunications Act 2021 provides simplifications in competition law for operators in the area of cooperation and co-investment agreements. In addition, the joint use of transmission masts and other kind of infrastructures will be further promoted in order to reduce the number of radio transmission masts and to encourage infrastructure expansion in more remote areas. In addition, a minimum allocation period for frequencies in the mobile communications sector was introduced, which is intended to improve the framework conditions for investments.
Furthermore there are innovations in the area of emergency calls. The Telecommunications Act 2021 provides the implementation of a Europe-wide single public warning system for crises and disasters.
Easier access to the emergency number 112 for people with special needs is also provided. Text-based emergency calls are now possible via the emergency number 112, so that people with special needs are on an equal footing with other end-users in terms of 112 accessibility.
Beyond this the Telecommunications Act 2021 introduces a number of new provisions in the area of consumer protection; such as consumer friendly regulations for bundled products, measures against number misuse (ping calls), as well as pre-contractual information obligations. So, every customer has to receive a compact contract summary including the essential obligations before concluding the contract (signed between operators and consumers), to enable a fully informed choice. Furthermore a simplified change of the provider of Internet access services through continuity of the Internet access service (if technically possible), as well as digital radio reception in cars are implemented by the Telecommunications Act 2021.
The Telecommunications Act 2021 also includes the implementation of a monitoring system for possible high-risk suppliers when setting up 5G networks. This is part of the implementation of the 5G toolbox by the European Commission. A perception report on any high-risk suppliers is to be drawn up every two years by a new advisory board at the regulatory authority.