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Final agreement does not address the NGN challenge


28 Nov 2008




EU Telecoms Council – Brussels, 27 November

Final agreement does not address the NGN challenge  

BRUSSELS – ETNO, who represents the main investors in tomorrow’s networks and services, is very disappointed that
the final agreement does not address the investment challenge. ETNO notes however that a great number of EU Member
States at the EU Telecoms Council today insisted on the need to encourage risky investment in NGN access networks.

 “The EU telecoms Council has missed an opportunity to bring the necessary changes to encourage investments and
recognise the risk they entail. Today’s agreement is in contradiction with the European Economic Recovery Plan
which puts high-speed broadband as one of the key priorities to overcome the crisis”, said Michael Bartholomew,
ETNO Director.

“Furthermore, in the current context of economic and financial crisis, the adoption of functional separation and a
weakening of the conditions for its imposition goes against the objective of boosting NGN and sends a negative
signal to investors”, added Bartholomew.

The deployment of next generation access networks represents a major challenge for Europe. Investment in high-speed
broadband networks is proceeding at a lower pace in Europe than in other economic regions, putting at risk EU
competitiveness in the long term. The cost of deploying high speed networks in Europe is estimated at 300 billion ?.

ETNO welcomes the responsible move by the Council to ensure a fast adoption process in order to bring the necessary
legal certainty. However, in line with the Economic Recovery Plan, ETNO calls on the three Institutions to ensure
that Next Generation Networks are at the top of the priorities during the political process that should lead to a
final agreement.

For more information, please contact: Thierry Dieu, ETNO Communications Manager Tel:    (32-2) 219 32 42 
Fax:  (32-2) 219 64 12 E-mail:

ETNO’s 43 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 Euros 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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