10 December, 2015
ETNO statement in view of the Telecoms Council
As the Telecommunications Council gathers in Brussels, ETNO welcomes the European ministers’ discussion on the upcoming review of the EU telecoms rules.
We believe the review of the EU telecoms framework is a key milestone in achieving the Digital Single Market. With the right reforms in place, we can unlock new opportunities for European consumers, as well as for SMEs and businesses at large.
In ETNO's view, the top priorities that the upcoming review should address are as follows:
Investment in next generation connectivity
ETNO believes that access to superfast broadband networks is a key enabler of people’s lives and a critical factor for the competitiveness of the Continent. While the investment effort of European telecom operators remains considerable, especially in light of declining revenues, we feel that a major leap in network deployment is required. The Boston Consulting Group estimates that, if we continue investing at the current pace, the investment gap to achieve the 2010 Digital Agenda targets is €106bn.
Europe needs to unlock a wave of fresh private investment in new networks and stimulate operators to outperform competitors through enhanced networks and innovation. For this to happen, the upcoming framework review should include a thorough reform of current network access regulation, leading to simpler rules at EU level that give precedence to commercial agreements between market players, end the practice of multiple access obligations and abandon instruments developed for legacy network regulation such as cost-oriented pricing.
Competitive electronic communication markets are key to achieving the Digital Single Market goals and to delivering better services for European consumers.
ETNO believes that it is crucial to ensure that the current rules are reviewed with a view to eliminating regulatory asymmetries among providers of similar services, ensuring a future-proof and horizontal approach.
We can achieve three important objectives with this. First, delivering new and life-enhancing services to consumers. Second, ensuring a fair competitive environment that encourages innovation and competition to strengthen the European digital economy. Third, establishing a consistent level of consumer protection standards across all digital services.
ETNO believes that an improved and consistent EU spectrum policy should be among the top priorities of the on-going reform. The mobile economy is evolving at a fast pace, consumer demand for mobile connectivity is booming, ubiquitous access to mobile internet has become crucial to both big and small businesses.
ETNO supports the EU institutions in finding an agreement on a harmonised management of spectrum, tackling crucial issues such as assignment conditions for spectrum to enable economies of scale and increase market certainty.
For more information, please contact: Alessandro Gropelli, Head of Communications & Media – ETNO, email@example.com, +32 (0) 476 941839