Historical context of new law
In 2014, the EU and Ukraine signed the Association Agreement (hereinafter – the AA) which entered into force in September 2017.
Under the AA Ukraine has to ensure approximation of its existing laws and future legislation with the EU principles and rules applicable to electronic communications.
In particular, provisions of the following acts must be adopted:
Given the adoption of the European Electronic Communications Code (hereinafter – the EECC),approximation of Ukrainian laws to the provisions of the above acts must be carried out under the framework of EECC.
Adoption of new law
On September 30, 2020, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted Law “On Electronic Communications”. The Law aims to implement provisions of EU laws specified in the AA and replace current Law “On Telecommunications” and Law `On Radio Spectrum` and to implement the provisions of EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. The new law lays down the ground work for a comprehensive reform in Ukrainian telecommunications sector.
In particular, the Law of Ukraine `On Electronic Communications`:
Inter alia, the Law introduces the concept of technology neutrality of the radio spectrum and provides transparent mechanism for calculating rents for the use of radio frequencies. In contrast to the existing law, the new law allows spectrum sharing and assignment or sale of `extra` frequencies to another operator.
The Law increases protection for consumers of electronic communication services. In particular, it aims to reduce spam by introducing obligatory prior consent of subscribers to receive information and the right of a subscriber to opt out of such receipt later. In addition, the Law provides for a possibility of out-of-court settlement of disputes between subscribers and operators, and significantly increases fines for violating the rights of subscribers.
Overall, the Law intends to significantly improve the quality of telecommunication services and their accessibility to subscribers, promote competition, implement the state strategy for digitalization of the country and bring Ukraine closer to European standards in the field of electronic communications.
The Law will enter into force on 1 January 2022. The Government should update some bylaws during the transitory one-year period.