ETNO disappointed by reduction of the Connecting Europe Facility [Telecoms] budget
The CEF budget for telecoms has been reduced from EUR 9.2 billion to EUR 1 billion under the new budget deal agreed by the European Council.
"ETNO is disappointed that budget cuts have been made which affect forward-looking initiatives such as the Connecting Europe Facility, and in particular the fund devoted to NGA networks, which have a real role to play in driving Europe out of the current crisis", says Luigi Gambardella, Chair of ETNO Executive Board.
"Given the key importance of high speed broadband networks and the potential leverage effect on private network investments of the CEF, this budget cut is a missed opportunity for Europe's economic recovery.", added Gambardella. “Investments in wireline networks in Europe in 2011 amounted to € 24.8 billion, with ETNO members accounting for 67% of this expenditure. Industry is finding it increasingly difficult to sustain this level of investment in order to meet the goals of the Digital Agenda.”
Given the budget cut, it is now more important than ever to establish a policy environment conducive to private investment and to work together to realize the goals set out in Commissioner Neelie Kroes’s Ten Point Broadband Plan (http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-13-80_en.htm).