Contractual set-ups are changing, becoming more demanding, more global, and more complex.

Year in review 2021: Technology, Media and Telecom

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In this article we highlight some of the major TMT trends of 2021, and information about ongoing legislative processes.

Trends IT contracts
An increasing number of clients have requested aid in purchasing either cloud service technology or offering cloud services to the market. We have seen a significant shift from on-premise solutions (i.e. local servers on customer premises) to public cloud and multi-tenant cloud solutions. Initially, customers pushed suppliers to offer cloud solutions. Now we see the opposite: suppliers pushing customers (who are not always ready for this) into the cloud. There has been a considerable increase in requests, from both customers and suppliers, for legal assistance in dealing with these complex matters.

The time where prime contractors assumed the delivery risk for the total scope of the services have changed. It has shifted to a far more demanding and complex contractual setup with several independent contractual parties sharing the responsibility towards their customers. It has become common to sign up with more than one supplier to fulfil the desired scope, often leaving the customer with few other options. This kind of consortium approach was unthinkable just a short while ago.  As such we see contractual set-ups are changing, becoming more demanding, more global, and more complex.

Broadband development Act
The new Act on facilitation for the development of high-speed networks for electronic communication was enacted in July 2021. The act implements the EU directive on measures to reduce the cost of deploying high-speed electronic communications networks (2014/61/EU).  It seeks to establish cost-efficient deployment of high-speed networks. The act obligates owners of physical infrastructure, such as utilities companies, to provide access to broadband vendors to install network cables. The Norwegian Communications Authority (NKOM) published its E-communications portal, where passive infrastructure owners are required to submit information about its physical infrastructure and to update it within two months of making changes to the infrastructure.

Digital accessibly
Norway is working on implementation of Directive (EU) 2019/882 European Accessibility Act and Directive (EU) 2018/1972 establishing the European Electronic Communications Code. The Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation have submitted consultation proposals to implement the directives via legislation sets. This includes two cross-sectoral regulations for universal design in accordance with the Gender Equality and Discrimination Act, regulations on universal design of ICT solutions and new regulations on universal design of products and services. It also includes a new law of electronic communication, new regulation on electronic communications networks and services, changes to the regulation on numbering resources for electronic communications networks and services, and a new regulation on the local scope of the Electronic Communications Act.