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EU industry chief Breton in push to help Ukraine stay connected

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: Signature ceremony regarding the Chips Act at EU headquarters in Brussels

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Ukraine's national regulatory authority NCEC is set to sign up to the European body of telecoms regulators this month following a push by EU industry chief Thierry Breton, a move that could help millions of Ukrainian refugees to stay connected with low roaming tariffs.

In April, Deutsche Telekom and a group of other top European telecom companies agreed to cut wholesale roaming charges levied on Ukrainian peers for three months to help Ukrainian refugees stay in touch with families back home.

NCEC has put in a request to the European Commission to join the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) which is made up of the 27 national telecoms regulators across the European Union.

"I have proposed to the College a Commission decision authorising the participation of the Ukrainian national regulatory authority, without voting rights, in the board of regulators of BEREC and the management board of the BEREC office," Breton wrote in a letter dated June 3 to Ukraine's Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov seen by Reuters.

"I am confident the decision will be adopted in time for the next plenary meeting of BEREC on 9-10 June," he said.

Joining BEREC would make it easier for the Ukrainian regulator to coordinate and negotiate with its peers and telecoms operators and keep its people connected especially in areas where communications infrastructure has been destroyed.

It will also help it identify web addresses of companies subjected to sanctions imposed by the EU and ensure that they comply with the bans.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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