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Europe’s network operators outline key priorities for pursuing the European Digital Agenda

Date

12 Mar 2010

Sections

InfoSociety

BRUSSELS – ETNO welcomes the importance given to high-speed broadband networks and services in the EU 2020 Strategy as key drivers of growth, innovation and welfare. Ensuring the best conditions for their deployment and take up will therefore be one of the key priorities for ETNO during the years to come. 

“The potential of ICT for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth should be fully recognised and harnessed. In a context of economic recovery, pursuing the Digital Agenda is a means to stimulating growth across most sectors of the society,” says Michael Bartholomew, ETNO Director. 

ETNO members are the leading investors in infrastructure and services which underpin the European Digital Agenda. These include fixed and mobile broadband access, e-education and e-health platforms, e-assistance services for the elderly or disabled, online content offers, to name but a few. 

For the Digital Agenda to deliver sustainable economic and social benefits from a Digital Single Market based on high-speed broadband networks, ETNO calls upon the European Commission to focus on the following priorities: 

Stimulate the deployment and take up of next generation access networks (NGA) and services as key enablers of innovation

-         Develop policies aiming at increasing incentives for private investments in multi-platform NGA through a more targeted regulatory approach and a reliance on commercially-negotiated agreements wherever possible;  

-         Design concrete measures to stimulate enterprises – especially small- and medium-sized -- to fully integrate ICT in their business practices, including through fiscal incentives, and to encourage citizens to embrace broadband, including through initiatives to increase skills and reduced VAT rates for retail broadband services. 

Maximise the potential of ICT for meeting CO2 reductions targets

-         Promote cross-sector knowledge transfers to enable the development and application of ICT solutions;

-         Encourage standard bodies to include energy consumption criteria in standard developments;

-         Develop incentives for public and private sectors to develop sustainable procurement policies and opt for low-carbon broadband-enabled practices. 

Achieve the single market for digital content services

-         Addressing remaining barriers to the development of a true single market for online content offers through a better harmonisation of data protection,  copyright licensing regimes and VAT rules; 

-         Encourage the development of digital content offers by facilitating access to attractive legitimate online content, for example, by enabling collecting societies to grant multi-territory licences; 

-         Guarantee and protect throughout the whole value chain Europe’s strong privacy and data protection standards. 

“ETNO members are ready to take an active role in shaping the Digital Agenda policy framework and play their part through their investment in innovative services and high speed networks”, added Bartholomew. 

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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