Webinar - Interoperability as a regulatory necessity


Image removed.Felix Greve

Image removed.

02th December 2015 (11:00 a.m - 11:30 a.m. UTC+1)

During this brief webinar Felix Greve a German lawyer will share with the audience insights on his “PHD thesis dealing with the problem of lacking interoperability from a legal point of view”.


After having tried to implement open standards for decades it is time to analyse whether vendor lock-in is actually a problem solvable by e-government initiatives (and the respective procurement guidelines) on a stand-alone basis. According to Felix Greve vendor lock-in is rather a structural market situation which makes additional ex-ante telecommunication regulation necessary.


At present, we are primarily discussing solutions to vendor lock-in in connection with e-government procurement. E-Government is after all subject to the perquisite of an interoperable telecommunication infrastructure. But e-government - as a communication service - can only have an indirect impact on a privatised market by selective procurement. Apart from other difficulties this limitation is leading to unresolvable contradictions between ideals and market realities.


In contrast following European legal guidelines the purpose of German telecommunication law is to enable effective opportunities of market access in all areas of telecommunication and additionally to implement individual objectives of public welfare into the privatised telecommunication market. In the area of telematics interoperability and opportunities of market access are synonymous with vendor independent standards. But in spite of the fact that data formats are a mandatory part of any digital transfer of information this layer of any transmission process is currently predominantly blinded out from telecommunication regulation as well as the jurisprudential discussion. This situation can only be explained with outdated mental models which are matched to analogue, mono functional and technically separated means of communication and cannot be perpetuated in an age of technical convergence.


Felix Greve is a German lawyer primarily specialised on the intersection between IT and law. The last 7 years he spent researching the aspects outlined above in the scope of a doctoral dissertation at the University of Hamburg. Through this brief webinar Felix Greve will share some central findings of his PHD thesis.



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