03 October, 2012
ETNO CEOs’ Statement in Support of EU Financing for the High-speed Internet Infrastructure of the Future
Today, ETNO CEOs met with European Commission President Barroso and Vice-President Kroes, in charge of the Digital Agenda.
Following a discussion on the investment challenges that lie ahead for the European telecoms sector and the need for a continued focus on developing the Digital Economy and delivering the associated benefits for society, the CEOs have declared that:
- Europe's competitiveness and future growth depend on Europe’s ability to have a leading position in the world Digital Economy.
- High-speed broadband infrastructures (fixed and mobile) are necessary to develop a solid European digital industry.
- The Digital Agenda sets the right targets for Europe but the upgrade of our networks requires major investments.
We therefore support:
- The Commission's announcement of 12th July, regarding the enhancement of the broadband investment environment[i]. It improves legal certainty and incentives to invest in high-speed access technologies.
- The Connecting Europe Facility for telecommunications. This financing programme is an important mechanism to support high-speed broadband roll-out in helping to mitigate investment risks.
- The Commission's research & development package for the period 2014 to 2020. The strategic development of ICT should be a top priority for Horizon2020 as there is clearly an opportunity now for the EU industry to achieve a competitive advantage in the global marketplace by preparing the next generation of Networks and Information Systems.
- The priority given to ICT in the Structural Funds to avoid rural areas remaining underserved.
As ETNO, we actively support and will strongly defend the EU's proposed budget package, the Structural Funds for ICT and the Connecting Europe Facility for Telecoms and we will continue to promote improvements in the regulatory policy framework to foster private investments in high-speed broadband. Europe simply cannot afford to miss out on upgrading its networks to meet the requirements of a 21st century Digital Economy. Strong and decisive action is needed in these times of financial uncertainty and priority must be given to building the infrastructure that will underpin Europe’s future growth.