17 May, 2023

ETNO position paper on the European Commission’s proposal “Gigabit Infrastructure Act”

ETNO attaches great importance to the current proper implementation of the Broadband Cost Reduction Directive (BCRD) and its successor, the Gigabit Infrastructure Act regulation, in order to help accelerate the deployment time of 5G and Gigabit broadband, as well as to help reduce the overall cost of deploying these networks.

The BCRD dates back to 2014, but has not been successfully implemented everywhere. ETNO believes a strengthened Regulation could improve this. From a practical timing perspective, the EC proposal for a Regulation as a legal instrument is welcome. We believe it is the only realistic way to get the renewed, strengthened legislation applicable in a timely manner as the most substantial part of the very high capacity networks (VHCN) roll-out will take place in the next few years. A new Directive, given the additional time given for transposition, would not be applicable in a timely manner to support VCHN deployment and Europe’s effort to achieve the 2030 Digital Decade targets.

At the same time, it is also paramount that measures already taken by Member States that have proven to be effective in facilitating the deployment of high speed networks and which prospectively will also be able to support the roll-out of VHCN are not jeopardised by the new Regulation provisions. The measures provided in the Regulation should be the minimum to be adopted, especially in the area of permit granting, the Regulation should allow more favourable situations in Member States in terms of shorter deadlines and exemptions wider than those identified by the Commission through the implementing act.

For questions and clarifications regarding this position paper, please contact Xhoana Shehu (shehu@etno.eu), Policy Manager at ETNO.

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