How policy and regulatory approaches can be de-siloed in a digital ecosystem ready for a 6G world

Chapter: Toward Anticipatory Regulation and Beyond

Authors: Georg Serentschy (Serentschy Advisory Services GmbH, Austria), Paul Timmers (Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK) and Marja Matinmikko-Blue (Infotech Oulu Focus Institute, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland)

Short summary of this chapter:

Regulation is and was always contested and discussion about regulation hovers between ‘more’ or ‘less’ of it. There are the advocates of blanket deregulation, and on the other hand, there is the regulatory orthodoxy, the group who want to immediately press every innovation into a regulatory straight jacket. This is ostensibly done with justifications such as protecting consumers from the supposedly harmful consequences of an innovation. Yes, and then there is also a public lament that there is no “Silicon Valley” in Europe and that start-ups very often emigrate precisely because they expect better conditions there. In other words, aren’t we in Europe shooting ourselves in the foot again and again with often excessive or wrongly placed regulations and at the same time complaining that innovations and new jobs are largely at home in other parts of the world? What if we would look at regulation from a European digital sovereignty and strategic autonomy angle?

Against the backdrop of the rapid technological developments driven by Moore’s Law, it is not a matter of “more of the same” but of a radical institutional renewal of regulatory work.

The traditional approach taken by representatives from the regulatory orthodoxy (most policy makers and many regulators) is characterized by a policy that is often isolated and disconnected from markets and innovation. What is crucial is how a smart combination of regulation with innovation and industrial policy can be achieved, and what the necessary political pre-conditions and institutional structures are for this to happen.

My contribution to the new 6G book outlines answers to the question of how policy and regulatory approaches can be de-siloed in a digital ecosystem ready for a 6G world.