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The Digital Agenda must be given a central role in achieving EU 2020 Strategy

Date

03 Mar 2010

Sections

Med & South
EU Priorities 2020
InfoSociety

BRUSSELS

ETNO welcomes the ambitious EU 2020 Strategy goals to increase employment, further reduce CO2 emissions, boost education levels and improve social cohesion.

“The achievement of these goals will depend to a great extent on the deployment of high speed broadband infrastructure and on the capacity of the private and public sectors to fully exploit the benefits of broadband networks and services. The Digital Agenda could therefore be given greater priority and a horizontal, or cross-sector, role”, says Michael Bartholomew, ETNO Director.

ETNO, which represents the leading investors in tomorrow’s networks and services, applauds the inclusion in the EU 2020 Strategy of the objectives of accelerating the roll-out of high-speed broadband networks and creating a predictable legal framework for private sector investors.

“In order to accelerate private investment in high speed networks, these objectives must be translated into practice by national regulators, under the guidance of the European Commission, by developing a more targeted and proportionate regulatory environment. The rules applying to next generation access networks must reflect the high risks involved as well as vivid competition on today’s broadband markets”, added Bartholomew.

As demonstrated by several external studies, high speed broadband networks could generate up to one million additional jobs and spur considerable additional economic activity, worth up to ?850 billion. A better integration of broadband-enabled applications in sectors such as energy, transport or building could lead to a 15% reduction of CO2 emissions by 2020.

ETNO members throughout Europe have a long a record of working with their customers, schools and educational institutions to demonstrate the benefits of a greater usage of ICT. These awareness campaigns are complemented with innovative service offerings ranging from entertainment to productivity tools. For example, e-health applications deployed by ETNO members help monitor patients suffering from chronic diseases and enable elderly people to live independently. Broadband-enabled applications also play a significant role in improving access to education and public services in remote or less developed areas.

“The creation of a single market for legitimate online content and applications is essential to facilitate the development of new business models and encourage the take up of new technologies. Concrete measures are also needed to incentivise consumers and businesses to embrace broadband, including through fiscal incentives”, concluded Bartholomew.

For more information, please contact:

Thierry Dieu, ETNO Communications Manager

Tel: (32-2) 219 32 42 Fax: (32-2) 219 64 12

E-mail: dieu@etno.be

ETNO’s 41 member companies from 35 European countries represent a significant part of total ICT activity in Europe. They account for an aggregate annual turnover of more than ?250 billion and employ over one million people across Europe. ETNO companies are the main drivers of broadband and are committed to its continual growth in Europe.

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