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European Broad Band

Posted in: Richelle's Blog
Author: Richelle de Wit
Tags: , , , , ,

Read in a communication from the European commission regarding EU guidelines for the application of State aid rules in relation to the rapid deployment of broadband networks. The importance of broadband deployment as part of the EU´s growth strategy for the coming decade is outlined there and one of it´s flagship initiatives, the Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE).

DAE acknowledges the socio-economic benefits of broadband, highlighting its importance for competitiveness, social inclusion and employment. The achievement of Europe 2020 objective of a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth depend also on the provision of widespread and affordable access to high-speed Internet infrastructure and services. Meeting the challenge of financing a good-quality and affordable broadband infrastructure is a crucial factor for Europe to increase its competitiveness and innovation, provide job opportunities for young people, prevent relocation of economic activity and attract inward investments. The DAE restates the objective of the EU2020 to bring basic broadband to all Europeans by 2013 and seeks to ensure that, by 2020,  all Europeans have access to much higher Internet speeds of above 30 Mbps and  50 % or more of European households subscribe to Internet connections above 100 Mbps.

 To achieve the objective of access to Internet speeds of above 30 Mbps it is estimated  that up to EUR 60 billion of investment would be necessary and up to EUR 270 billion for at least 50 % of households to take up Internet connections above 100 Mbps. Such investments shall primarily come from commercial investors. However, the DAE objectives cannot be reached without the support of public funds. For this reason, the DAE calls on Member States to use ‘public financing in line with EU competition and State aid rules’ in order to meet the coverage, speed and take-up targets defined in EU2020.

Demand for capacity-intensive services is expected to increase in the future, as cloud computing, a more intense use of peer-to-peer technologies, social networks and video on demand services will develop further”.

Now I´m sure Telefonica/Movistar, still offering Internet speed of around 1 Mbps on its telefone lines in large parts of campo-Spain, will be delighted to apply for a big chunk of that public financing. Quite an ambitious plan!

Please note: The information provided is based upon our understanding of current legislation. It is not legal advice but is provided freely to enable you to be properly informed. We recommend that if you are considering taking action, you should seek professional advice.

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