FICORA will have more tools for steering and supervising electronic communications

Published 07.11.2014

The Information Society Code, compiling provisions on electronic communications, improves the rights of users of communications services to obtain affordable, reliable and functioning communications services. The Code also increases the operational reliability of the information society.

"The new set of laws gives FICORA necessary tools for steering, supervising and promoting electronic communications", says FICORA's Director-General Asta Sihvonen-Punkka.

Status of users will improve

The publicly discussed data protection of users will be enforced by the new legislation. The information security and data protection obligations that have so far concerned telecommunications operators will extend to cover also other providers of communications services on the internet. The regulation applies to e.g. confidential messages sent within the social media. The aim is that, in the future, also foreign companies are more aware of the requirements set for data protection and information security when the companies are located in Finland or when they are providing services to Finland. As regards Finnish companies, this increases equality.

In the future, agreements related to subscriptions must provide, in an easy and a sufficient manner, consumers with information on the content of services and on their rights as the users of services. In addition, telecommunications operators must more efficiently than now inform their customers of the right to basic communications services.

FICORA's duty will also be to collect information and to inform of the availability, quality and prices of web and communications services. On the basis of this, FICORA develops its MONITORi map service at already during 2014.

Competition within the sector will become more efficient

FICORA will have new measures for intervening in defects in the market, e.g. by defining the maximum price for a telecommunications operator's wholesale product as part of the regulation of significant market power. The authority's possibility to efficient and flexible regulation increases the conditions for the competition in the communications market.

The granting of long-term programme licences for TV and radio operations will be transferred to FICORA, which makes the market entry of operators more flexible when the amount of the capacity and frequencies required for TV and radio operations, respectively, is sufficient. The Government grants programme licences in the event of shortage or if the granting of the programme licence can have significant impacts on the general development of the communications markets.

Operational reliability of the society will improve

The preparedness for different interruptions in telecommunications will improve. Telecommunications operators are required to have better preparedness planning. Also, FICORA's rights to obtain information and authorisation to issue regulations will expand.

With the Information Society Code, the operations of FICORA's coordination group for disturbance situations will be established during the next few years. The group improves the cooperation between authorities and key players in the telecommunications and electricity sectors in the event of extensive communications network disruptions, which can be caused by storms, for instance. Meanwhile, the most central network control rooms and other critical systems must be maintained in the future so that they can be returned to Finland without delay during exceptional situations.

New domain name model enters into force in 2016

As regards the administration of fi-domain names, FICORA will switch to an internationally used operational model. After September 2016, domain names will be provided only by the registrars that FICORA has approved. This means that foreign companies can also obtain an fi-domain name for themselves.

Further information about the changes the Information Society Code will bring is provided by:

Data protection, information security, preparedness planning for disturbances: Jarkko Saarimäki, Chief, tel. +358 295 390 576

Market Regulation: Sanna Hughes, Chief, tel. +358 295 390 522

Consumer protection, basic services:
Petri Makkonen, Deputy Director, tel. +358 295 390 516

Publishing information on communications services, MONITORi:
Joonas Orkola, Communications Market Specialist, tel. +358 295 390 493

Programme licences:
Suvi Juurakko-Lehikoinen, Chief, tel. +358 295 390 446

Fi-domain names: Juhani Juselius, Chief, tel. +358 295 390 492

FICORA's Communications, tel. +358 295 390 248 (media service)

Press release of the Ministry of Transport and Communications of 6 November 2014

Key words: Information security , Internet , Radio , Spectrum , Telephone , Television , Competition , Data protection , Domain names , MONITORi , Markets , Subscription , News

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