- Working groups
Washington D.C., Brussels, 1 February 2018 – ETNO and USTelecom are pleased that the European Union and the United States have reaffirmed their commitment to the EU-U.S. Information Society Dialogue (ISD), which will be held on 1st February in Brussels.
This high-level exchange led by the European Commission and the U.S. Department of State sends an important signal that policy and regulatory alignment between the two sides of the Atlantic is a key condition of a thriving digital economy. Transatlantic policy coherence is all the more relevant as the telecommunications industry is witnessing similar challenges, market trends and opportunities in Europe and in the U.S.
First, a continuing convergence of technologies and sectors – telecommunications, data and content – has been making way to integrated services that have changed traditional markets like telephony, messaging and broadcasting. In the future, most value creation will happen at the intersection of the industries we know today, both in business-to-consumer and in business-to-business. U.S. and EU authorities should promote competition and innovation across the whole digital value chain recognising new market realities. Given the fast pace of the sectors’ transformation, all stakeholders require flexibility to be able to expand consumer choice and grow. With this in mind, we should shift away from sector specific regulation towards generic horizontal regulation when applicable, and only apply sector specific regulation where really necessary and equally to similar services.
Second, annual global internet traffic is expected to grow threefold in the period 2016-2021. This will be driven by data-hungry services like video on demand and by the dramatic explosion of connected devices: by 2020, over 20 billion devices will be connected to the internet and this number could surpass a trillion by 2025.
ETNO and USTelecom believe that decision-makers on both sides of the Atlantic should embrace a few, crucial principles to reap the benefits of this digital transformation:
We hope that these principles will be addressed by the ISD counterparts as key pillars of a transatlantic digital market and that the EU and the U.S. could both commit to achieving them to the benefit of European and American businesses and consumers.
PDF available here.