Following the withdrawal of the previous bill to the same effect from the parliament's agenda, the Estonian government on Thursday again initiated the bill to amend the Electronic Communications Act, which among other things will prohibit the use of Huawei devices in the network and announce a competition for 5G frequencies.
The bill was supposed to be put to the third and final reading on Wednesday last week, but the reading was postponed by the economic affairs committee of the Riigikogu due to amendments to its implementing provisions.
However, on Monday, lawmakers voted the bill off the agenda altogether.
Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Andres Sutt (Reform) proposed to the government to withdraw the bill from the Riigikogu proceedings.
"The Riigikogu did not have enough time to adopt the amendments to the Electronic Communications Act before the summer recess, and this has resulted in a situation where the entry into force dates set forth in the bill are already in the past. Therefore, we will withdraw the draft, make the necessary corrections and resubmit it to the government," the minister explained, describing the change as technical.
The Reform Party minister said the draft is essential to ensure technological development in Estonia. It will also allow to finally move forward with 5G frequency band auctions. According to the minister, it is important that the amendments made by the draft can be adopted as soon as possible.
"Following the government's decision, the bill will go back to the Riigikogu for discussion and I hope for a swift procedure on their part to ensure our security and technological development in Estonia," Sutt was quoted by spokespeople as saying.
In addition, amendments concerning the preservation of communications data have been deleted from the bill. A proposal for a comprehensive solution of the issue of the storage of communications data is to be submitted separately by the Ministry of Justice.
The main objective of the bill on amendments to the Electronic Communications Act, the Building Code and the State Fees Act is to bring the Electronic Communications Act into line with the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Electronic Communications Code.
Editor: Helen Wright