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EU 2012 Digital Agenda Scoreboard: ETNO welcomes progress so far and calls for further action to achieve DAE targets

Date

18 Jun 2012

Sections

InfoSociety

Brussels – ETNO welcomes continued progress towards achieving the Digital Agenda goals as highlighted in the Digital Agenda scoreboard issued today.

Continuous investment in new high speed broadband networks despite the economic crisis and declining revenues, demonstrates ETNO members’ strong commitment towards the Digital Agenda. Evidence shows that achieving the Digital Agenda targets will be feasible only through a mix of technologies and a bold policy to encourage investment in new networks”, says ETNO Director, Daniel Pataki.

The Digital Agenda Scoreboard highlights the profound changes in the industry which we believe have to result in changes to regulation. Industry is committed to invest, but is expecting both the European Commission and NRAs to engage in a review of their policies that takes into account current and foreseen market conditions. The current way of application of ex ante market regulation must be overcome. If and when the market changes, the rules of the game need to change”, says Luigi Gambardella, ETNO Executive Board Chair.

The European Digital Agenda (DAE) targets are challenging but the 2020 target of 30Mbit/s for all European households could be achieved in most member states through a mix of technologies and platforms including Cable, FTTH, FTTC/VDSL, LTE and satellite.

To maximise this potential, ETNO calls for a technology neutral regulatory approach which provides for a fair return on investment and encourages new business models. In that context, any measure which would reduce the price of current copper networks would further undermine existing and future investment by well established and alternative operators leading to less competition and choice.

The role of copper networks to achieve the Digital Agenda goals should not be underestimated. Through advanced Fiber to the Cabinet solutions, such as vectoring, copper will contribute to providing access to up to 100 Mbit/ s in many member states.

Wireless networks will also play an important role in delivering 30Mbit/s to all, especially in rural areas. The opening up of the 800MHz digital dividend band enshrined in the Radio Spectrum Policy Programme is an important step but additional low-frequency spectrum may be needed.

As highlighted in the Analysys Mason study on the Digital Agenda presented at the ETNO/ Total Telecom Regulatory Summit on May 30, demand is a major driver for NGA deployment and so public policy should be devoted to increasing the actual take-up, expanding coverage in NGA white areas and reducing costs linked to civil works. To this end, public campaigns to raise awareness of the benefits of NGA and commercial flexibility for operators are both important factors in encouraging future investment.

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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