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What are the internet priorities for the new Digital Agenda Minister?

The new Belgian government has made several internet related proposals in the government agreement. Cyber security, for instance, will be a priority for the new Belgian coalition. One of the concrete action points in this area is the operationalization of the Belgian Center for Cybersecurity Belgium, which will develop the cyber security strategy for Belgium and have a coordinating, advising and initiating role. There are, moreover, plans to outline a specific criminal policy concerning cyber criminality, and a lot of effort is expected to go into raising awareness, both of citizens and firms.

The government agreement also states that connectivity is one of the key factors determining the attractiveness of our economy, which necessitates a stable framework for investments in infrastructure and new tech, to stimulate the “next generation networks” in their development. The government will see to a stable legislative framework and attention will also be paid to the creation of a “level playing field” between national and international service providers. The BIPT, the national regulatory authority, will be strengthened in its independence and is to make sure that competition can play to the advantage of consumers. There will, moreover, be an investigation into mobile 3G, 4G and LTE, and how these can be deployed as quickly as possible, while public-private partnerships will be used to counter the digital gap and provision of internet access in rural areas. The new government also emphasized the safeguarding of net neutrality, in accordance with EU regulation, without stifling innovation.

Finally, an important issue for ISPA is the planned reduction of the cost reimbursement to ISPs for their cooperation with law enforcement authorities. In this context ISPA refers to the cost model of 29 October 2013, established by the BIPT, on the objective determination of the cost of an efficient electronic communication operator in the framework of the implementation of legal interception.