29 April, 2015

Press Release - Broadband policy: a pro-investment and pro-innovation approach is needed on both sides of the Atlantic

ETNO, the association representing Europe’s leading telecom operators, and USTelecom, America’s leading trade association representing telecom service providers and suppliers, today called for a pro-investment and pro-innovation approach to broadband policies.

At a time in which regulators on both sides of the Atlantic are considering new policy and rules governing the Internet and broadband access services, the Associations stressed the importance of a positive approach to ensure that the right incentives are in place for companies to invest and innovate.

Walter McCormick, President and CEO of USTelecom, said: “Broadband networks need high levels of investment to bring increased speeds and greater competition.  And, for many years, the United States has enjoyed exceedingly high levels of investment fuelled by a positive policy environment characterised by light-touch regulation. Unfortunately, however, the Federal Communications Commission’s recent decision to shift gears backward to 19th century-style economic regulation is creating uncertainty for future investment, and likely to slow innovation, deployment and adoption.  As we challenge the rules in court, and work with our legislature to update the nation’s communications laws, we join with our European partners in urging a regulatory policy that is focused on stimulating economic growth and bringing the greatest benefits to consumers.”

Steven Tas, ETNO Chairman, said: “The European Union is about to launch a new digital strategy. Ambition is high and Europe’s digital leaders are driven by the awareness that today’s ICT value chain is global. In this perspective, transatlantic cooperation is crucial to achieve a better policy and regulatory climate, fostering network investment and allowing high-levels of innovation. That’s the best way to boost economic growth and deliver better value to consumers”.

EU and US telcos – which also gathered for a joint public event in Washington DC yesterday – said that networks are the enabler of today’s economies, especially at a time in which the magnitude of the Internet of Things revolution is starting to show its face. For this reason, any regulatory or policy intervention should pass the innovation and investment test.


USTelecom and ETNO hold regular meetings to discuss transatlantic approaches to broadband and internet policies, offering a platform for engagement and discussion to both institutions and stakeholders on both sides of the Atlantic.

ETNO (the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association - www.etno.eu) represents Europe’s telecommunications network operators and is the principal policy group for European e-communications network operators. ETNO’s primary purpose is to promote a positive policy environment allowing the EU telecommunications sector to deliver best quality services to consumers and businesses.

USTelecom (United States Telecom Association - www.ustelecom.org) is the nation’s leading trade association representing service providers and suppliers for the telecom industry. Its diverse member base ranges from large publicly traded communications corporations to small companies and cooperatives – all providing advanced communications services to both urban and rural markets.

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