Fátima Barros: Regulatory Challenges in a new Digital Ecosystem

Regulatory Challenges in a new Digital Ecosystem

Fátima Barros
ANACOM, President of the Board
Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC), Chair for 2015
Católica-Lisbon School of Business and Economics, Professor in Economics


Developments in technology, in the electronic communications and related markets, as well as the continuous change in consumers’ needs, expectations and behaviours, is affecting all sectors of the economy and society, resulting in a new digital economy. New opportunities for growth and innovation are emerging in Europe, and it is crucial that the new regulatory requirements and challenges are anticipated and addressed at both national and European Union level, in a coordinated way.

The evolution of the Internet and Internet-driven services like the presence of Content and Application Providers, the Internet of Things and Machine to Machine, Cloud Services and Cloud Computing, mean that some services will increasingly become available independent from location, device or platform. Additionally, consumers will demand hyper connectivity, superfast broadband, wide coverage, high-quality experience, and service ubiquity. Therefore, to make the most of the European digital economy, it is necessary to break down existing barriers, and use a holistic approach to promote the required cross-sectoral measures. The Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe presented by the European Commission last May, goes in this direction and identifies the key role of telecommunications and the importance of appropriate regulation.

BEREC, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications, will closely cooperate with the Commission in the Digital Single Market implementation and is already looking into possible areas of adjustment to the current electronic communications legislative framework. The main regulatory challenges are related to the fair treatment of players on new and cross-sectorial markets, demand take-up, and the promotion of competition as the main driver for investment in new infrastructures. In order to meet the long term connectivity needs of the European Union, exploit innovation and capitalize on the new digital economy, European regulators will need to have an active role and regulate and deregulate as and when needed.


Dr. Fatima BarrosFátima Barros is the President of the Board of the Portuguese National Regulatory Authority for Communications (Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações – ANACOM), and the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) Chair for 2015. She was also the BEREC Vice-Chair in 2014.

Ms. Barros holds Ph.D. and M.Sc. degrees in Economics from the CORE, Universite Catholique de Louvain, in Belgium, and a BA in Economics from the Catholic University of Portugal. Dr. Barros previously held the position of the Dean of Católica-Lisbon School of Business and Economics (2004-2012) and has been Professor of Economics at the School  since 1992, teaching in the Masters of Science in Management and MBA programmes. Up to May 2012 she was a Board Member of several international academic and business institutions. Ms Barros has several publications in leading international scientific journals in regulation, competition and contract theory.

She has done consulting work in the areas of telecommunication and the automotive industry. She was the Director of Católica-Lisbonć’s Research Center for the Automotive Sector. She coordinated various executive education programs in the fields of economic regulation and competition. Her research focuses on competition policy, economic regulation and incentive contracts.

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