Telecommunications under control

  • 1998-09-10
  • By Urmas Maranik
TALLINN - Membership in Europe's top club of economic elites means Estonia will have to be in compliance with the European Union's telecommunications sector directives.

Thankfully, the country's Communications Board, which was formed by the Parliament in April, officially started work last month under the jurisdiction of the Transport and Communications Ministry.

Director General Juri Joema said the board will mostly fulfill inspection obligations until 2002, and its main goal is to enact regulative decisions after the two laws on the Estonian telecommunications market are passed.

According to Joema, the Parliament has to pass both the cable television law, which has already been rejected twice and is awaiting the third round of voting, and the telecommunications law which is still undergoing the finishing stage.

"Hopefully we can see the Estonian telecommunications laws passed before the end of 1998," Joema said.

"The sphere of telecommunications is governed by strict rules within the European Union and since the Estonian market situation is changing, the state should have a function of supporting the market," the Baltic News Service quoted Transport and Communications Minister Raivo Vare.

According to Joema the laws are drafted with the EU membership in mind and they have to be fully enacted in 2001. "These articles will fully comply with the EU directives. We also have some innovative regulations, which are new even in the EU countries," Joema said.

The new laws will protect customers' rights and simplify relations between competing operators. Joema said the new regulations will make the Estonian telecommunications market "more transparent for investors."