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EU Telecoms Council – 3 December - ETNO members reiterate their willingness to further contribute to success of the Digital Agenda

Date

03 Dec 2010

Sections

EU Priorities 2020
InfoSociety

BRUSSELS – ETNO, which represents the main investors in both mobile and fixed next generation networks, calls upon the EU Telecoms Ministers to create conditions to stimulate private sector investment. These should allow operators to further contribute to achieving the Digital Agenda objectives – and in particular, the targets for fast and ultra-fast broadband deployment and take-up.

ETNO stresses the importance of opening the ‘digital dividend’ spectrum band to prevent the ‘digital divide’ and to address the huge increase in mobile data traffic. ETNO welcomes progress made under the Belgian Presidency on the adoption of the Radio Spectrum Policy Programme (RSPP) Decision and calls upon the forthcoming Hungarian Presidency to work closely with the European Parliament and member states for its timely adoption.

ETNO welcomes member states’ commitment to set national broadband targets in line with those in the Digital Agenda. The achievement of these targets should be primarily driven by private sector investment. ETNO members, via their own investment and deployment programmes, are contributing to the objective of providing ‘broadband to all.’ Where commercial broadband deployment is not viable, public funds will play a key role. As expressed recently by the European Commission Vice President Kroes, given that the benefits of broadband networks extend far beyond the sector, the burden of deploying such networks in non-profitable areas should not be placed solely on the telecoms sector. ETNO believes that the universal service policy is therefore not the appropriate tool to achieve the broadband for all policy goals.

ETNO also calls on the EU Telecoms Ministers to encourage end-user take up of broadband, namely by addressing remaining barriers to the European single market for online content.

Within today’s challenging economic environment1, it is essential that the policy framework encourages risky investments and allows for the development of new business models.

National regulators should use more targeted instruments made available in the NGA Recommendation, such as geographical segmentation, symmetric remedies and risk sharing mechanisms, to address national market conditions. Such an approach would create incentives for both access seekers and investing operators.

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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