International cooperation in the communications sector
FICORA is active in European and international cooperation in the communications sector.
Decisions made in different international forums have a significant impact on Finnish communications markets and national decision making in Finland. Therefore, it is important that FICORA as a Finnish regulatory authority contributes to international decisions at earliest possible stage.
Influencing communications matters in the EU
The European Union has extensive powers in the field of communications. EU directives also require closer European cooperation in communications matters.
FICORA is an active participant in EU committees and working groups assisting the European Commission in making decisions. FICORA participates in three committees:
- Communications Committee (COCOM)
- Radio Spectrum Committee (RSC)
- Telecommunications Conformity Assessment and Market Surveillance Committee (TCAM).
FICORA also participates in the work of the Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG).
Another important form of cooperation is FICORA's direct contacts with the Commission, for example, in the preparation of decisions concerning significant market power. Within the European Commission, the communications sector is governed by the Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT).
FICORA also participates in the work of the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA). Its objective is to enhance the capability of the EU, its member states and businesses to prevent, address and to respond to network and information security problems.
FICORA actively participates in the activities of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC). Located in Riga, Latvia, BEREC was set up by a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council in December 2009. It replaced its predecessor, the European Regulators Group (ERG).
BEREC is a forum for cooperation among European national communications regulatory authorities and between the authorities and the Commission. It ensures the consistent application of the EU regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services in all EU member states.
FICORA participates in the activities of the European Regulators Group for Postal Services (ERGP). ERGP was set up by a Commission decision in August 2010. The group provides a forum for cooperation among national regulatory authorities and between the authorities and the Commission. ERGP advises and assists the Commission in consolidating and developing the internal market for postal services and in the consistent application of the regulatory framework for postal services.
The Constitution and Convention of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) are the most important international agreements binding Finland in the postal sector. The Convention includes, for example, the common rules applicable to the international postal service and the provisions concerning letter-post and parcel-post services.
The supreme authority of the UPU is the Universal Postal Congress that is held every four years. FICORA follows the preparatory work carried out by European bodies (CERP) and participates in the Congress in cooperation with the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is a forum for deciding on the allocation of radio frequencies and the use of telephone numbers and for developing global standards and the regulation of telecommunications. Planning the use of radio frequencies, in particular, requires extensive international cooperation.
FICORA actively participates, for example, in ITU activities concerning radio frequencies (ITU-R) and standardisation and numbering (ITU-T). In addition, ITU also has a development sector (ITU-D) that supports the development of ICT and communications in developing countries and tries to bridge the digital divide.
The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) produces European standards. The European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) works to harmonise the use of frequencies and telephone numbers and to form European positions for ITU and UPU meetings.
CERT-FI operates as a part of FICORA and its tasks include preventing, observing, and solving information security incidents and disseminating information on threats to information security. Carrying out the tasks successfully requires extensive international cooperation. For CERT-FI, the key forums are the European Government CERTs (EGC) group and TERENA TF-CSIRT, the cooperation forum for European CERT groups. The global organisation FIRST is CERT-FI's most important forum for forming and maintaining operative information security contacts.
FICORA also acts as a National Communications Security Authority (NCSA). These duties are carried out by the unit NCSA-FI. Most of the activities of NSCA-FI involve international cooperation. As a national partner organisation, NCSA-FI represents Finland in several European and global forums. It also participates in European working groups addressing the handling of classified information in electronic communications.
FICORA is responsible for granting fi-domain names and the international cooperation concerning the administration of domain names.
FICORA actively participates in the meetings of the Council of European National Top Level Domain Registries (CENTR).
FICORA is also represented in ICANN that coordinates the top level of the internet name server system.
The Forum of European Supervisory Authorities for Electronic Signatures (FESA) is a cooperation forum for European authorities supervising certification services. FESA's objective is to support cooperation among the authorities and to develop common points of view on supervision and the interpretation of the Directive 1999/93/EC. FESA members meet three times a year.
The European Platform of Regulatory Authorities (EPRA) is a forum for cooperation among European authorities supervising audiovisual content services. EPRA promotes cooperation among the authorities and is a forum for discussing supervision and the interpretation of the directive on audiovisual media services. EPRA meetings are held twice a year. EPRA also has working groups in which members may exchange information.