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ETNO welcomes the Polish Presidency and calls for accelerating the opening up of spectrum as a key condition for bridging the digital divide

Date

30 Jun 2011

Sections

InfoSociety

In a manifesto published today on the occasion of the start of the incoming Polish Presidency of the EU, ETNO outlines its key priorities for boosting the Digital Agenda, which include spectrum, conditions for NGA investment and a digital single market for content.

 

“Opening up additional spectrum to mobile broadband would enable increasing broadband coverage in remote and rural areas at lower cost, in line with the Digital Agenda objectives. ETNO calls on the Polish Presidency to support an opening up of the 800 Mhz band in a harmonised way by 2013 and to reach a political agreement on the Radio Spectrum Policy Programme by end 2011”, says Luigi Gambardella, ETNO Executive Board Chairman.

 

ETNO shares the objective of providing all citizens with broadband access. ETNO members have already contributed to bringing basic broadband to 94% of the population and believe that this goal should continue to be driven by private investment: “Investments in NGA should be driven mainly by the private sector. Policies should aim at improving private sector investment conditions. Public funding should be carefully targeted in order to complement, and not to crowd-out, private investment, thereby increasing NGA coverage and take-up as a supplement to private initiatives. This can be achieved by focusing public funding on supporting the demand and on competitively neutral cost reduction measures like civil works or modernization of in-building networks and on remaining unprofitable areas”, added Gambardella. 

 

In the light of declining revenues for the telecoms sector, as recently highlighted by the first EU Digital Scoreboard, ETNO calls on the incoming Polish Presidency to support policies which would encourage risky investment in new fast and ultra-fast networks by enabling:

 

-            New business models to emerge from the market, allowing all players in the value chain who generate data traffic, to contribute to the challenges ahead;

-            A more targeted and proportionate regulatory approach which takes into account where appropriate the local competition realities and encourages risk sharing;

-            A more flexible pricing policy allowing operators to respond to various consumers’ demands and needs through more differentiated retail offers.

 

ETNO also believes in the need to foster a truly single market for online content, through a simplification of current copyright licensing systems and a better access to legitimate online content, in order to boost broadband take up and fight illicit filesharing.

 

ETNO looks forward to working closely with the Polish Presidency and contributing to its success.

 

ETNO’s 40 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.

 

For more information, please contact: Thierry Dieu, ETNO Acting Director/ Communications Manager Tel:    (32-2) 219 32 42 Fax:  (32-2) 219 64 12 E-mail: dieu@etno.be

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