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Europe’s telecoms network operators call on EU Telecoms Ministers to keep high- speed broadband networks at the top of the EU Digital Agenda

Date

16 Dec 2009

Sections

InfoSociety

BRUSSELS – The potential of high-speed broadband infrastructure and services for achieving EU economic, social and sustainability goals must be fully exploited, says ETNO on the eve of the EU Telecoms Council to take place in Brussels on December 18. 

“As recently highlighted in President Barroso’s EU 2020 strategy, ICT has a key role to play in Europe’s sustainable economic recovery and social development. Broadband-enabled innovation can also help Europe achieve its objectives in terms of CO2 emissions reductions. ETNO welcomes the creation of a Digital Agenda portfolio in the new Commission, reflecting the importance of ICT for the economy and society as a whole,” says Michael Bartholomew, ETNO Director. 

High-speed broadband networks are essential for European citizens to fully reap the benefits of ICT. Next generation fixed and mobile access broadband networks must therefore remain a top priority of the EU Digital Agenda. 

As emphasised by the Guidelines on State Aid for broadband presented last September by Commissioner Kroes, large-scale investment in high-speed broadband networks should be primarily driven by the private sector. Public intervention should be limited to those areas where commercial investment is not viable, to bridge the digital divide. 

Now that the EU Telecoms Package is adopted, ETNO calls on EU policy makers to:

-          Improve the conditions for private investments by ensuring that the mechanisms for adapting regulation to new network roll-out included in the Directives are fully reflected in the forthcoming EC Recommendation on Next Generation Access Networks; 

-          Take concrete measures, including fiscal incentives, to further stimulate the take up of broadband by residential and corporate users and in particular low-carbon solutions; 

-          Enable the further use of the digital dividend for mobile broadband services to extend broadband coverage to all European citizens.

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 42 member companies from 36 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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