Encouraging European Electronic Communications Code approved by the European Parliament

14 November 2018
Blind person speaking on a smartphone

The European Parliament approved revised electronic communications rules on the 14 November.

The so-called recast of the European Electronic Communications Code brought encouraging improvements for end-users with disabilities. It will add enhanced obligations in availability and affordability of accessible electronic communications, contractual information, and emergency services.

The new article 80 on Universal Services will oblige Member States to adopt measures regarding availability and affordability for persons with disabilities of:

  • Mainstream equipment

  • Specialised equipment (assistive technologies)

  • Electronic communications services (including total conversation services)

  • Relay services

The article 103 "Equivalent access for end-users with disabilities" maintains already existing provision of ensuring equivalent access and choice for persons with disabilities, and obliges for the accessibility of the contractual information with the telecom service provider (e.g. Vodafone, BASE).

Article 102 will create requirements for accessible emergency communications and the single European emergency call number, especially:

  • Communication for end-users with disabilities with the emergency service “where feasible without any registration”.

  • Ensuring interoperability, whilst traveling across the EU

  • Requirements on informing about the accessible means to reach 112 when entering a country: when -travelling to another Member State, information about 112 (for example SMS when roaming is activated), must also inform about the accessible communication to it for end-users with disabilities.

  • Handset based location where technically feasible – this means that once you call or text 112, your device sends automatically your location.

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