Europe Needs A True Single Digital Market

Date

19 May 2010

Sections

InfoSociety

Industry call for ensuring that twin pillars of content & infrastructure are appropriately addressed in today’s Digital Agenda for Europe action plan 


(Brussels, 19 May) The European Commission’s plan to accelerate the EU’s single digital market, released today, will need to address commercial challenges to roll out ultra high speed broadband across Europe more quickly and facilitate consumer access to legal content in order to have concrete positive effects on the European economy.

 “We are actually delivering ultra high speed broadband networks today and see a quickly expanding reach among our 72 million customers across Europe. We want to reach more citizens and the EU wants us to, as well.” said Cable Europe President, Manuel Kohnstamm. “We share these strategic goals with the Commission, and we'll keep up the pace for Europe’s digitization. Our continued network investments keep pushing the competition.”

With Europe’s ICT sector responsible for 5% of EU GDP, the Commission recognizes that information and communications technologies have driven half of the growth in productivity among the European Union's member states in the last 15 years and that nearly a quarter of Europeans are reported to have a "fixed" broadband subscription. The EU has set a goal for all its citizens to have access to high-speed Internet service of 30 Mbps or higher by the next decade.

“Our industry is executing on the 2020 goals for high speed internet service already today. While only 18% of European broadband subscribers have service above 10Mbps, we would naturally like to bring more customers on to our high speed networks that serve as world class gateways to premium content,” says Cable Europe’s Managing Director, Caroline Van Weede. “Our 18% growth in VOD revenue is more significant than just good business in the cable industry. The latest €460mn in VOD revenue forecast for 2010 year suggests that Europeans are more than willing to pay for good, legal content over the best networks possible. Distinguishing between online and offline becomes less relevant as in today’s world, content comes from a variety of sources, many of which are increasingly digital. Why not just focus on promoting digital content? To begin to do so means swift action where meaningful copyright reform is concerned.”

At the nexus of both infrastructure and content, Cable Europe underscores the importance of building out high speed fibre-powered networks which will continue to play a key role in providing high quality European content with the best platform possible. In the interim, meaningful reform – and action -- in the realm of copyright is something that we, with a large group of others in the ICT industry, will be anxiously awaiting.

Gregg Svingen

Director of Communications

Cable Europe/Cable Europe Labs

gregg.svingen@cable-europe.eu