Insights Introduction to European Electronic Communications Code tracker


2021 saw a revamp of the rules applicable to electronic communications networks and services owing to the transposition of the European Electronic Communications Code (the “EECC”) into national laws. These changes are likely to continue long into 2022.

We’ve seen first-hand that the approach taken to implementation varies across the EU/EEA meaning that providers can’t rely on uniformity of rules and must conduct a country-by-country analysis.

To assist, we’ve created an European Electronic Communications Code tracker to help you navigate the status of EECC implementation. The tracker provides an at-a-glance view of implementation as well as a detailed summary of the current status for each territory.

Please select your business category from the list below to read a tailored introduction to the tracker:

Traditional Operators

Non-Traditional Communications Service Providers (e.g. unified comms, cloud or VoIP)

Number Independent Communications Services


Go straight to tracker

Experience from jurisdictions which have already passed the basic implementing legislation

As you’re likely aware, end user protection represents one of the central themes of the EECC. The EECC extends the ‘traditional’ consumer regime to small businesses and non-for-profit organisations and – in certain limited cases – also large businesses. The EECC end-user protection measures also represent the maximum harmonisation, which means that the Member States should not deviate from them (i.e., they cannot give ‘more’ or ‘better’ rights to consumers or small businesses in addition to the level of protection granted by the EECC).

Our experience with the national rules so far shows that even the purportedly fully harmonised consumer protection rules are largely divergent

The application of these rules varies between individual Member States depending on, inter alia, the definition of micro-enterprise, small enterprise, and not-for-profit organisations as well as other categories of enterprise customers that have been introduced into their national legislation. Individual Member States also diverge in how they’ve applied these rules: from time periods that differ from the EECC (e.g. the Italian parliament has extended the period for termination due to unilateral contract modifications to 60 days) to the national law context in which these are applied.

New requirements for pre-contract information on the validity and conclusion of an enforceable contract

While in Germany, failure to provide this information does not affect the validity of the contract/subscription and can qualify as breach of regulatory obligation or, in extreme cases, lead to claim for damages, in the UK it renders the contract/subscription invalid.

In Italy, on the other hand, the use of certain sales channels allows for more flexibility for the provider in that such pre-contract information can be provided after the subscription interaction (i.e., tele-sales) whilst the contract becomes effective only once this information has been provided to and accepted by the customer.


Another issue is around waivers that can be made by the new category of micro & small enterprise and not-for-profit organisations, which will have various national law flavours affecting their use.

As a result, operators offering services across the EU/EEA cannot rely on uniformity of rules and must engage in a detailed country-by-country analysis to adjust their contract terms and associated processes or models.

Access the EECC tracker

Should you have any queries on the content of this introduction or the tracker itself, please feel free to reach to any of the listed contacts.

Many non-traditional communication services providers like unified comms, cloud, or VoIP services, believe that these new rules are of limited importance to them, but this is not the case.

The EECC introduced new categories of regulated providers whereby effectively everybody offering communications services (whether associated with numbering resources or not) will be caught by the new rules. The vast majority of services offered by unified comms, cloud or VoIP providers will be regulated as Number-based Interpersonal Communications Services (NB-ICS) falling into the same category as ‘traditional’ telcos. This, in many European countries, requires notification to/registration with the national regulator and compliance with a range of regulatory obligations.

As a minimum, operators must review their contracts and standard terms even when they serve exclusively enterprise customers. This is because the rules on end-user protection, which represent one of the central themes of the EECC, have been extended to small businesses and non-for-profit organisations and – in certain limited cases – also large businesses.

The key consumer protection measures involve the following rights:

1. Increased transparency regarding pre-contract information & summary of key contract terms

The new rules are prescriptive as to what and when must be provided. They demand that a long list of structured information on the communications services and the terms and conditions that apply must be provided to customers before they enter into a binding contract with service providers.

2. Exit rights

Customers have broad rights to exit their contract if providers choose to make changes to their contractual terms during the term of the contract unless such change is (i) exclusively to the customers’ benefit, (ii) purely administrative in nature with no negative effect on the customer, or (iii) required by law. Providers will be also obliged to notify customers before expiry of any commitment period and allow them to terminate their service/ contract on a one-month notice without incurring any costs at any time following such expiry. Some countries (e.g. the UK) have also introduced express rules on renewal of minimum term.

3. Maximum duration of a contract

The maximum duration of a contract/ commitment period must not exceed 24 months whereas this rule will now apply to all elements of bundles. There should be also alternative offers available which have a commitment period of no more than 12 months.

4. Usage notifications

Customer must be notified when a service included in their tariff plan is fully used up.

5. New rules on bundles

The new regime extends to bundles with the aim to further limit possibilities for customers’ lock-in. Put simply, all elements of a bundle of telecom (i.e., voice or internet) and non-telecom services will be regulated.

6. Remedies in case of QoS failures

The national law should provide for appropriate remedies in the case of “significant, continuous or regularly recurring deviations in speed” between the actual performance of the internet access services and the performance stated by the provider.

7. Access to information for disabled users
This extends to all important communication in relation to the services in a format that is accessible because of end users’ disabilities.

8. Switching & porting

There are new requirements to the existing rules on porting & switching including for internet access services whereby the new/ gaining provider leads the switch with the aim of ensuring the shortest possible timelines which in most cases should not exceed one working day.

Access the EECC tracker

Should you have any queries on the content of this introduction or the tracker itself, please feel free to reach to any of the listed contacts.

Many providers of social networks’ communications tools, collaboration platforms for businesses or enterprise software services involving some form of user communication, believe that these new rules do not apply to them, but this is not the case.

The EECC introduced new categories of regulated providers whereby effectively ever service that offers some form of interactive electronic communications services as a commercial proposition (i.e., in exchange for remuneration, which includes provision of personal data or other data or when the renumeration is provided by a third party such as advertising) will be caught by the new rules.

There are exemptions but these are very narrow and apply only where such communications tools are truly marginal or offered by genuine start-ups offering only number-independent services.

What qualifies as a Number-based ICS?

A distinction between services which qualify as Number-based ICS and are subject to a more stringent regulatory regime versus those which do not rely on numbers (Number-independent), is not always straightforward and requires assessment of the particular service including looking into how the particular jurisdiction implemented the key definitions of the EECC. The UK, for example, has decided not to implement the Number Independent ICS category for the time being and it is therefore subject to very limited obligations in the UK (mainly provisioning of information to Ofcom). This however can change any time in the future.

Does this apply to our Number-Independent ICS service?

Where services fall into the category of Number-independent ICS, there are, albeit limited, requirements which still apply. They centre around security and privacy of electronic communications where the latter generally applies in the same vein as traditional telephony services in the past. The requirements also involve specific information obligations vis-a-vis end users including on the degree to which access to emergency services may be supported or not.

Our experience with the EECC transposition into national rules shows that these rules are in effect largely divergent, and providers should seek advice on a country basis.

Access the EECC tracker

Should you have any queries on the content of this introduction or the tracker itself, please feel free to reach to any of the listed contacts.