14 September, 2016

Press Release: ETNO welcomes vision for a gigabit Europe, calls for further incentives for broadband roll-out

Brussels, 14 September 2016 – Today, the European Commission has unveiled the Communication “Towards a European Gigabit Society” as well as a Directive to establish the first “European Electronic Communications Code”.

ETNO, the Association representing Europe’s leading telecom companies, has welcomed the gigabit Europe vision and has recognised the important reform of Europe’s outdated telecoms laws proposed in the new Code. At the same time, the Association called on both the Commission and legislators to ensure that the final formulation of the law provides an effective boost to broadband roll-out, including incentives for Europe’s main investors. This be aligned with a sharp simplification of service regulation, with a view of propelling innovation. A timely legislative process will allow consumers and businesses to access new networks and services as early as possible.

Steven Tas, ETNO Chairman, said: “With this announcement the Commission sets the ambition, aiming to establish Europe’s digital leadership. Citizens demand a speedy roll-out of superfast networks and innovative services: we need to ensure that the new Code provides technologically-inclusive incentives, allowing our Members to deliver a further increase in broadband investment”.

4 priorities for empowering citizens through innovation and investment

As legislators and stakeholders start analysing today’s draft proposals, ETNO also underlines the historic importance of establishing a new Code for Electronic Communications. New rules should be tailored to achieve a successful deployment of 5G, a pervasive adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the roll-out of high capacity networks. This is essential if we are to digitally empower citizens, businesses and governments.

With advanced digital networks and services being at the core of Europe’s societal and economic opportunities, it is essential that the final rules:

  • Provide a consistent and effective boost to network investment, incentivising all network investment models, including those of Europe’s largest investors in broadband deployment;
  • Ensure rules are inclusive and fully technologically neutral, with FTTH, FTTC and G.Fast contributing to accelerate 5G deployment and deliver faster internet speeds to consumers across all European territories in a timely and efficient fashion;
  • Swiftly achieve concrete and credible results on spectrum;
  • Take an innovation-first and trust-based approach by creating a consistent set of rules for consumers and further simplifying sector-specific regulation. This will boost the development of innovative consumer services.

Lise Fuhr, ETNO Director General, said: “Job-seekers, entrepreneurs, consumers and many others will benefit from a 5G and IoT-ready Europe. For this reason, ETNO will work with all stakeholders in order to support legislators and promote a positive and inclusive outcome of the process ahead”.

About ETNO 

ETNO represents Europe’s leading telecommunications network operators, who provide European citizens with innovative digital communication and services. ETNO, founded in 1992, is the principal policy group for European network operators and it aims at supporting a positive policy environment to deliver the best quality services to consumers and businesses. www.etno.eu@ETNOAssociation

For media inquiries

Alessandro Gropelli, Director of Communications, +32 476 94 18 39 – gropelli@etno.eu

ETNO Policy Paper on the Framework Review: download here.

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