Press Release: DSM review: an opportunity to re-launch Europe’s digital ecosystem
Telcos support the review and call for focus on innovation and investment to be safeguarded
Brussels, 10 May 2017 – ETNO, the Association representing Europe’s leading providers of digital communications and services, is a strong supporter of the Digital Single Market Strategy. Consumers are taking-up digital services with enthusiasm and they strongly believe that communications are essential to their daily life. We therefore welcome today’s Review as a unique opportunity to inject new ambition into the on-going legislative processes and match the digital expectations of European citizens.
2 years into the execution of the Strategy, we call on all the EU institutions to maintain and reinforce the original pro-innovation and pro-investment spirit. To this end, as underlined in the Commission’s mid-term review Communication, a timely and consistent delivery of the Electronic Communications Code and ePrivacy Regulation are both fundamental.
Steven Tas, Executive Chairman of ETNO, said: “Europeans demand delivery. We should not lose the pro-innovation and pro-investment spirit of digital reform. The current legislative debate risks hijacking the original objectives of the Electronic Communications Code and hamper the achievement of a European Gigabit society”.
Keeping the focus on network deployment and spectrum reform
European telecom operators embrace the vision of creating more societal and economic opportunities through deployment of world-class broadband networks. A strong, pro-investment agenda is instrumental to delivering benefits for all Europeans, no matter whether they live in rural or urban areas. To this end, the Regulatory Framework an essential role to play. The following aspects are a pre-requisite to the achievement of Europe’s gigabit objectives:
- There will be no increased broadband investment without an unequivocal improvement of the current regime of access regulation. Simplification, less regulation and flexibility for investing operators are of essence;
- There will be no inclusive Gigabit society without inclusive incentives that embrace all investment models and all technologies (on top of co-investment only and beyond the wholesale only model);
- There will be no 5G without convincing spectrum reform. Harmonising licensing conditions and ensuring longer license periods remain the main pillar of Europe’s 5G plans.
Ensuring innovation, consumer choice and a flourishing and secure data economy
European citizens deserve increased choice in digital services and Europe should be able to fully unleash the potential of the data economy. For this reason, we believe that:
- Citizens should be protected by a meaningful, clear and coherent set of rules protecting their interests, relying primarily on an harmonised and horizontal approach, fit for the digital age;
- Telcos should be free to increase consumer choice in the digital services field, by entering the markets of apps, IoT and connected driving without being constrained by double-regulation;
- All players – including SMEs, start-ups and telcos – should be allowed to tap into the big data and data analytics business without discrimination. This is fundamental to ensure the competitiveness of the European economy, unleashing new sources of growth and societal benefits;
- A well-functioning Digital Single Market requires a secure cyberspace, where companies are free to innovate, whilst keeping the necessary flexibility to protect their networks and services.
We should not lose sight of today’s historic challenge and ensure that a predictable regulatory outcome is achieved. This is needed for Europe to transition to 5G, to push fibre as deep as possible into its broadband networks and to allow for an innovative digital ecosystem. The competitiveness of the European economy and consumer choice are at stake.
For this reason, ETNO and its members will continue to intensively collaborate with the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council to ensure that positive and predictable reform is achieved.
For media inquiries: Alessandro Gropelli, ETNO, +32 476 94 18 39.