EU Targets UK, German Telecom Delays

BRUSSELS (06/15/2000) - The European Commission has opened infringement proceedings against Germany and the U.K. for failing to implement a key telecommunications liberalization directive introducing carrier pre-selection across the European Union, the Commission announced in a statement Thursday.

The Commission has given the two countries one month to justify their failure to implement the so-called "telephone numbering directive" by the deadline of Jan. 1, 2000, in the case of Germany, and April 1, 2000, for the U.K.

Carrier pre-selection enables consumers to access alternative operators without the need to dial a prefix. The Commission views its introduction as a major step toward removing barriers to the entry of new operators on to the market.

The Commission opened similar proceedings against Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria and Finland in March of this year.

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