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EU Telecoms Package : Now that the package is unblocked, the priority must be to create the right conditions for NGA investment

Date

05 Nov 2009

Sections

InfoSociety

BRUSSELS – ETNO recognises the efforts of all parties to find a compromise on amendment 46/138 on Internet users’ rights to allow the adoption of the entire telecoms package. This marks the end of a long period of uncertainty for the telecoms sector.

“The new compromise avoids the blockage of the entire package by an essential issue which falls beyond its scope. Now that the last obstacle to the adoption of the package is removed, the priority must be to ensure that the new provisions to reinforce incentives for investment in next generation access networks are put into regulatory practice for the benefit of Europe’s economy and society”, said Michael Bartholomew, ETNO Director.

As recently reiterated in the “Seville Declaration” endorsed by 37 chief executive officers (CEOs) of the leading telecommunications operators and equipment industries[1], the roll out of next generation access networks (NGA) is essential for Europe’s economic recovery. NGA are also a key enabler for reducing carbon emissions and improving energy efficiency across all sectors of the economy. Regrettably, Europe continues to lag behind the United States and Asia in the deployment of high-speed broadband networks. For the first time since 2003, investments in the EU telecoms sector are declining.

NGA urgently require a regulatory environment which takes investment risk into account. ETNO calls on the European Commission to ensure that the pending Recommendation on NGA fully reflects the provisions in the revised directives which allow for a more targeted and proportionate regulatory approach.

ETNO wishes to reiterate its fundamental concern that the new remedy of functional separation contained in the package is not appropriate to today’s lively competitive markets. It adds uncertainty in a climate of economic downturn and at a time when the sector is facing highly risky investments.

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

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