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ECTA Welcomes Commissions’ Digital Dividend proposals and calls for pro-competitive measures


29 Oct 2009



Congratulates Mrs Reding on taking one, European approach instead of 27 national ones

The European Competitive Telecoms Association, ECTA, welcomes the Commission’s Digital Dividend proposals due at the end of this month, which make recommendations to allocate the airwaves (spectrum) that will be freed up and made available for mobile broadband in a number of Member States in the coming years as analogue TV is switched off. It particularly congratulates the Commissioner for fostering one, European approach rather than 27 national ones

However ECTA highlights that the competitive consequences of Digital Dividend spectrum allocation need to be specifically addressed. If competition is allowed to flourish, ECTA believes that the harmonizing and coordination measures the Commission has put forward for allocating the 800 MHz band have the potential to usher in a whole new era of high speed digital services for European consumers.

“Spectrum is a public good that should be used to the foremost benefit of consumers,” explained ECTA chairman Innocenzo Genna . “If its allocation is permitted to favour one or two dominant players then competition will be hampered and consumers will not benefit from the introduction of new, innovative services but instead will find themselves paying higher prices, but not enjoying the highest possible speeds.”

ECTA cites current developments in Germany , where plans for the allocation and sale of the best frequencies (800 MHz), combined with the position taken by the German authorities on the 900 MHz band, clearly discriminate against the two small competitive mobile operators in the market and will effectively eliminate competition.

“The German approach highlights the need to expressly recognize the significant competitive challenge associated with the allocation of the Digital Dividend,” continues, Innocenzo Genna . “Member States should be given guidance not to allocate this prime spectrum in a way that distorts competition and restricts the benefits of the Digital Dividend for consumers in the long run.”

For further information please contact:

Erzsebet Fitori, Manager, Regulatory Affairs, ECTA. Tel: +32 2 227 1156

About ECTA
The European Competitive Telecommunications Association (ECTA) looks after the regulatory and commercial interests of new entrant telecoms operators, ISPs and suppliers of products and services to the communications industry.
ECTA works for a fair regulatory environment that allows all electronic communications providers to compete on level terms in order to multiply investment and innovation throughout an effective European internal market. The association represents the telecommunications industry to key government and regulatory bodies and maintains a forum for networking and business development.
ECTA member companies include operators, service providers and suppliers as well as National Associations of such which all contribute towards regulatory policy development and participate in our comprehensive range of networking events, conferences, seminars, briefings and executive meetings.

Ms Sam Rowe

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