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ETNO calls for a sustainable model of Internet development and for a level playing field in the Internet value chain

Date

10 May 2012

Sections

InfoSociety

EU and US Authorities should put at the centre of their ICT dialogue the sustainability of the current Internet model and the need for a level playing field for all players offering ecommunications to citizens. This is the message to be conveyed by Luigi Gambardella, ETNO Executive Board Chair, on the occasion of meetings, in Washington DC, with US officials and industry representatives this week.

"The US and the EU should foster continued investment in high-bandwidth infrastructures. It is important to ensure that fair compensation is received for carried traffic. The US and the EU need to support new IP interconnection policies that provide both best effort delivery and end-toend Quality of Service (QoS) delivery. QoS-based delivery allows the deployment of new business models and an improved user experience ", says Luigi Gambardella, ETNO Executive Board Chair.

While they are increasingly competing on EU consumer markets, European telecoms operators and Over The Top (OTT) players are not subject to the same obligations, leading to a risk of competition distortion.

As an example, ETNO supports the recent European Commission’s proposal for a Data Protection Regulation as a first step towards creating a truly level playing field, ensuring that all actors in the value chain who offer online services to EU citizens, independently from their geographic location, are subject to the same data protection rules.

The European telecoms sector’s revenue is declining for the third year in a row despite rapidly increasing Internet traffic and take up. Recent studies forecast a further decline by up to 2% a year by 2015. This trend, if not reversed, could put at risk European operators’ capacity to invest in much needed next generation networks and hence, the achievement of the Digital Agenda. Therefore, a sound reflection on the sustainability of the current development model of the Internet is urgent and necessary", added Gambardella.

The ETNO Executive Board Chair is taking part in the Transatlantic Week organized by the Transatlantic Policy Network and European Internet Foundation. He will participate in the mission of European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani to the US, who will be accompanied by the main European trade associations and industry representatives.

For more information, please contact: Thierry Dieu, ETNO Director for Communications and Public Policy

Tel: (32-2) 219 32 42 Fax: (32-2) 219 64 12 E-mail: dieu@etno.be

ETNO’s 40 member companies and 10 observers from Europe and beyond represent a significant part of total ICT activity in Europe. They account for an aggregate annual turnover of more than €600 billion and employ over 1.6 million people. ETNO companies are the main drivers of broadband and are committed to its continual growth in Europe.

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