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High speed broadband networks should be the key priority of the revised framework


25 Nov 2008

EU Telecoms Council – Brussels, 27 November

High speed broadband networks should be the key priority of the revised framework 

 BRUSSELS – Discussions around institutional issues should not overshadow the necessary changes to the rules to

encourage risky investment in new networks, said ETNO in a letter to the 27 ministers participating in the Telecoms

Council on 27 November.


“In the context of the current economic and financial crisis, bold decisions are urgently needed to increase

investment in next generation access networks as they will directly impact on Europe’s future competitiveness and

citizens’ welfare. Next generation networks require next generation solutions”, said Michael Bartholomew.


As highlighted in a Declaration signed by many CEOs of ETNO members following the CEO Summit held in Venice on

October 25, the ICT industry, given the right conditions, can play a key role in helping overcome this unprecedented



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. Risky investments in the new high speed networks – estimated

at 300 billion ? - require a more targeted approach to encourage all players to take on the challenge.


ETNO is not opposed to regulatory intervention per se. ETNO seeks a better targeted regulatory approach focusing

primarily on areas where infrastructure-based competition is unlikely to emerge and allowing for a fair risk

 sharing between investors and access seekers. 


To this effect, ETNO welcomes the inclusion of a number of measures aimed at improving the conditions for

investment in NGNs adopted by the European Parliament in September. ETNO calls on the EU Telecoms Ministers to

embrace the concrete proposals of the EP to encourage risky investment based on the following elements:


-  geographical segmentation of the regulatory approach to reflect different competitive realities;

-  symmetric obligations to open up ducts or in-house wiring to ease new infrastructure investment by all players;

-  risk sharing mechanisms enabling for instance investors and access seekers to agree on long term commitment for

a minimum of lines or traffic volume.


ETNO also calls on Telecoms Ministers to carefully consider the potentially negative consequences for investment

of the inclusion of the functional separation remedy in the framework.


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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