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Article Italy: Implementation of EU Legislation on Electronic Communications

On April 28, 2024, Legislative Decree No. 48 of March 24, 2024, implementing European Union (EU) legislation on electronic communications, entered into effect in Italy.

Background

Legislative Decree No. 48 of 2024 (L.D. No. 48) implements Directive (EU) 2018/1972 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018, Establishing the European Electronic Communications Code (EECC). This directive revises the EU’s regulatory framework for the telecommunications sector. L.D. No. 48 updates Italy’s legislative framework contained in Legislative Decree No. 259 of 2003 (Code of Electronic Communications, CEC) to implement the EECC.

The following are some of the most significant provisions of L.D. No. 48.

Incentives for the Creation or Expansion of Communications Networks

The new legislation creates mechanisms for incentivizing regional governments and other local authorities to create additional electronic communications networks at a high service quality level. The installation of such networks must comply with all legislation protecting areas of particular historical or environmental value or from exposure to electromagnetic fields of sensitive sites. (L.D. No. 48 art. 1.6, adding section 2-bis after paragraph 2 of article 8 of the CEC.) 

The government may designate areas where no previous high-speed networks exist in order to invite companies and public authorities to install high-capacity networks, or significant updates or extensions on existing networks. (Art. 1.3(g), substituting article 22, paragraphs 5-6 of the CEC.)

Data Collection on Telecommunication Networks

The government is to gather data relating to sources connected to radioelectric plants, equipment, and systems for civil telecommunications to determine whether alterations to authorized use of power and emissions are warranted. (Art. 1.19(a), adding section 1-sexies after paragraph 1-bis of article 44 of the CEC.)

Construction, Modification or Transference of Electricity Pipelines

The construction, modification or transference of electricity pipelines, either underwater or on land, requires a sworn declaration by a qualified professional demonstrating the presence or absence of interference with existing electronic communications networks. (Art. 1.28(1), substituting article 56(2) of the CEC.)

National and internationally recognized rules and general standards for electrical systems must be observed in the case of interference between buried electronic communications cables and buried electricity cables. (Art. 1.28(1), substituting article 56(5) of the CEC.)

Blocking of Abusive Communications Coming from Abroad

Italian authorities may impose on operators of electronic communications networks to block communications coming from abroad that unlawfully use domestic numbers to identify their origin or domain name systems to protect consumers from aggressive commercial practices, fraud, or abuse. (Art. 1.37, adding a new phrase to paragraph 2, article 98-decies of the CEC.)  

To that effect, each telecommunication company is required to keep a roster of its customers holding pre-paid (traffic buyers) or post-paid (subscribers) mobile telephone contracts available to the Ministry of the Interior’s Data Processing Center. In cases of new activation and portability of numbers or changes to security information management, such companies must adopt all the necessary measures to ensure the acquisition of the personal data of the contract holder reported on an identity document, as well as other relevant information ensuring the correct processing of the acquired data. Judicial authorities may access the rosters held by the Ministry of the Interior’s Data Processing Center. (Art. 1.38(1), substituting paragraph 1 of article 98-undetricies of the CEC.) 

Use of Radio Frequencies

Holders of rights to use radio frequencies for the provision of network services via satellite are required to pay annual contributions based on the frequency bandwidth used in transmission and reception. (Art. 3(1)(e), amending Attachment 12(3.1)(3) of the CEC.)

Increased Penalties

The new legislation includes higher penalties for violations of the new regulations by operators:

    • 240,000 to 5,000,000 euros (about US$258,000 to $5,376,000) for violations of orders and warnings under the regulations, plus the reimbursement of any sums unjustifiably charged to users. (Art. 1.15, substituting article 30, paragraph 12 of the CEC.)
    • 50,000 to 1,000,000 euros (about US$53,763 to $1,075,000) for operators who are not suppliers of electronic communications networks and services, such as call centers, who operate in violation of regulations on unfair commercial practices, fraud, or abuse. (Art. 1.15(c), adding section 12-bis to article 30, paragraph 12 of the CEC.)
    • 3,000 to 15,000 euros (about US$3,225 to $16,129), and the payment of a sum from 300 to 5,000 euros (about US$322 to $5,376) for each piece of equipment, for manufacturers or importers that sell specified categories of consumer equipment that do not comply with the regulations. (Art. 1.15(c), adding section 27-quater to article 30, paragraph 27 of the CEC.)
    • 300 to 5,000 euros for each instance of modifications to consumer digital television receivers and equipment that leads to non-compliance. (Art. 1.15(c), adding section 27-quinquies to article 30, paragraph 27 of the CEC.)

Dante Figueroa, Law Library of Congress
May 31, 2024

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Chicago citation style:

Figueroa, Dante. Italy: Implementation of EU Legislation on Electronic Communications. 2024. Web Page. https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2024-05-30/italy-implementation-of-eu-legislation-on-electronic-communications/.

APA citation style:

Figueroa, D. (2024) Italy: Implementation of EU Legislation on Electronic Communications. [Web Page] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2024-05-30/italy-implementation-of-eu-legislation-on-electronic-communications/.

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Figueroa, Dante. Italy: Implementation of EU Legislation on Electronic Communications. 2024. Web Page. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/global-legal-monitor/2024-05-30/italy-implementation-of-eu-legislation-on-electronic-communications/>.