A new European Strategy of “high speed broadband for all”

Last week, Viviane Reding, the EU Telecoms Commissioner, made a speech “Towards a European Strategy of High Speed Broadband for All: How to Reward the Risk of Investment into Fibre in a Competitive Environment”.

The conclusions about her speech were (in bullet points for easy reading):

  • Fiber investment for Europe recovery
  • The European economy is in the middle of a crisis, the challenge is to move Europe toward a sustainable recovery.
  • ICT sector will play a crucial role

Solution: Upgrade to high-speed broadband networks

  • Productivity and competitiveness
  • Create employment

Target: Unify broadband strategy with a legal competitiveness

  • See as a long term technological progress
  • Explain the benefits of high-speed broadband as a substantial improve of benefits accruing to society.
  • Video, audio services, online games, new social interaction on the web….enrich many people lives.

She also commented different challenges in Europe:

  • France: equip all French households with an internet connection of at least 512 Kbps by the end of 2012. Several companies are jockeying in urban areas to become the supplier of choice for FTTH connections
  • Germany: 50 Mbps to serve 75% of the population in 2014
  • United Kingdom: 2Mbps bandwidth in all households by the end of 2012

Horizontal challenges for promoting broadband through Europe:

  • High-quality broadband, focused not only on download, also in upload, latency and first-class accessibility to services.
  • Involve regional and rural areas
  • Seamless convergence between fixed and wireless.
  • Uphold the principle that high-speed broadband is about high-speed access to the open internet

Importance in the adoption of a new electronic communications regulatory framework, which safeguards competition and stimulates investment.

  • Define the parameters of competition
  • Healthy competitive have positive repercussions on investment
  • Low prices, broad choice and successful take-up of new services

Central question: what measures should regulators take in the EU Single Market so as to get timely and efficient investment into NGAs while maintaining effective competition?

  • First, recognize that actual deployments patterns of NGAs are rather diverse, and therefore doesn’t exist any regulatory remedy.
  • Second, instances investment into NGA networks entails significant risk.
  • Third, co-operative arrangements with a view to joint deployment are a fact of life: to diversify the initial investment risk.
  • Fourth, its’ recommended that alternative operators need a defined migration path to be able to adapt to the changed world.

Different reactions:

  • Criticism that the Recommendation does not recommend a generalized roll-back or even a dismantlement of ex ante regulation.
  • She attack saying that the last thing we need is new monopolies.
  • The wish of a regulatory regime.

Basically, they want a competitive market that triggers investment, innovation and consumer benefits.

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2 thoughts on “A new European Strategy of “high speed broadband for all”

  1. I don’t think the competitive market will deliver FTTH, the cap-ex is too great.

    512Kbps roll out in France is even worse than the 2Mbps roll out in the UK.

    Cheers

    Neil

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