12 July, 2012

Press release: ETNO welcomes the announcement made today by Commissioner Kroes on the policy and regulatory approach for the next years in the electronic communication sector in Europe.

Luigi Gambardella, Chairman of the ETNO Board has declared: "ETNO considers that today’s statement will contribute to end a long period of uncertainty in the sector. Investors need a stable regulatory framework and today’s announcements by VP Kroes is an important step towards building investor trust, giving a valuable guidance in the light of the European Commission growth strategy for 2020.”

ETNO particularly welcomes the announcement that rules should be stable over at least the coming 8 years. This will facilitate planning investments in next generation networks.

On the specific points of the declaration ETNO would like to highlight the following:

1) ETNO fully supports the Commission’s analysis that lowering copper wholesale prices would have led to less investment in high-speed broadband.

2) ETNO welcomes increased pricing flexibility for next generation access networks, as an essential instrument to allow for new business models to emerge and support return on investment, and in particular that cost-orientation for fibre networks could be avoided reflecting the increased competition from other platforms.

3) ETNO also supports the principle of non-discrimination as a key element of the EU regulatory framework. In this regard, measures which would impose a heavy burden on network operators should be carefully considered in view of their proportionality.

On these three points, it is crucial that a common understanding is achieved between the Commission on the one hand and BEREC and the national regulators on the other, given that the latter are responsible for the day to day implementation of the framework. This is in particular required to ensure consistency of application throughout the EU.

?For more information, please contact: Thierry Dieu, ETNO Director for Communications and Public Policy Tel: (32-2) 219 32 42 Fax:  (32-2) 219 64 12 E-mail: dieu@etno.be

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