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ICT and TELCO industries calls on decisions to ramp up ultra fast broadband drving forward on digital single market promise


16 Jun 2011


Health & Consumers

Brussels Thursday, 16 June 2011 – Leading Industry called on European decision makers to accelerate on delivering the European Digital single market and develop  an investment-conducive environment for fast and ultra-fast broadband infrastructure.


DIGITALEUROPE and ETNO, who together represent the ICT manufacturing and consumer electronics sectors and telecommunications network industries called on European decision makers to take swift action to support the continued up take of critical digital agenda items on the occasion of the inaugural Digital Assembly due to take place in Brussels on Thursday and Friday 16-17 June 2011.


Congratulating the Commission on its achievements to date, ETNO and Digital Europe, representing Europe’s leading digital technology industry sector and communications operators, together account for a total turnover of 1.25 trillion € and 3 million employees, said they are playing a central role in achieving the Digital Agenda targets, and enabling citizens and business to fully reap the benefits of ICT and broadband in terms of jobs, growth and social welfare, in line with the EU 2020 strategy.


‘’For the ICT industry to be fully effective in its role in achieving the digital agenda objectives, existing internal market fragmentation must be addressed to allow for the creation of a truly single market for digital services”, stated Dr. Erkki Ormala, President of DIGITALEUROPE.


Luigi Gambardella, Chairman of ETNO Executive Board confirmed that, “the investments in NGA should be driven mainly by the private sector. Sector policies should be aimed at improving private sector investment conditions. Public funding should be carefully targeted in order to complement, and not to crowd-out, private investment, thereby increasing NGA coverage and take-up as a complement to private initiatives. This can be achieved by focusing public funding on supporting the demand side and on competitively neutral cost-reduction measures like civil works or modernization of in-building networks and on remaining unprofitable areas”.

Two areas in particular were highlighted as critical priorities: the lack of harmonised approach to spectrum; and the fragmentation of copyright and content licensing systems are making the Digital Single Market an impossible dream.


As regards the harmonised spectrum, DIGITALEUROPE and ETNO posit that an achievable objective is for the EU to allocate 800 MHz band in harmonised way, and make this available to the markets in 27 member states in timely manner as well as to rapidly adopt the proposed standardisation package. The net result will be a strong internal market, and the potential for Europe to take a leadership globally and deliver similar success to that of GSM technologies.


ETNO and DIGITALEUROPE agree that the Digital Single Market has the power to deliver a wider of scope content and easier access to online content, for example through pan-European licensing systems and by adapting copyright systems to new technologies, which promise to increase consumer broadband take up and incentives for investment as well as contributing to the fight against illicit file-sharing.


The deployment of high speed broadband infrastructure is a prerequisite for the economy as a whole to benefit from the Internet; confirmed both DIGITALEUROPE and ETNO. For Europe to achieve its ambitious goals in terms of infrastructure deployment, ETNO and Digital Europe call for an overall environment conducive to investment by all players in a mix of technologies and platforms.


Both the telecoms operators in Europe and Europe's digital industry call on EU decision makers to enable the regulatory environment that would accelerate the single market for digital services and boost infrastructure investment for the ultimate benefit of businesses and citizens across the EU.