This legislation, which was transposed to Portugal the European Directive establishing the European Electronic Communications law (ECC), strengthens the consumer protection regime, such as contract duration and termination, information requirements on contracts, publication of information; quality of available internet access and interpersonal communications services, change of provider, etc.

However, this directive gives Member States the freedom to maintain or introduce to their national law the measures that they find necessary, especially if they protect the consumers in order to better them.

Thus, DECO, who in due time communicated its concerns on this matter to all Parliamentary Groups and to the Electronic Communications Working Group of the Portuguese Parliament, stated that despite having seen some of its claims accepted, regrets that some measures that the association considered absolutely critical were not included in national legislation.

For example, DECO mentions the lack of fair rules for the calculation of the compensation to be paid by the consumer in case of early termination in the contract, during the contract subscription.

Moreover, the association notes that it is not alone in this battle “for a more competitive, transparent national electronic communications sector that does not ignore consumer rights for the exclusive benefit of internet operators”. In fact, AdC has already shared similar concerns.

The opinion from the Competition Authority (AdC) or ANACOM should be taken into account, DECO said. AdC considers it essential to change the current rules regarding the subscription of contracts on the Internet, making consumers freer in their choice.

Also adding “we can’t ignore the serious problems of competition in the sector, where only three operators hold more than 90 percent of the market, where there are very serious obstacles to mobility between operators, where there are indications of concerted practices and where we can see that internet prices in Portugal rose by 6.5 percent between the end of 2009 and December 2020, in contrast to the European Union average, where they fell by 10.8 percent over the same period”, they said.


Paula Martins is a fully qualified journalist, who finds writing a means of self-expression. She studied Journalism and Communication at University of Coimbra and recently Law in the Algarve. Press card: 8252

Paula Martins