Extracts from the press conference by Neelie Kroes on the proposal to reduce the cost of deploying broadband
Type: Summary of press conference
Brussels - EC/Berlaymont
On 26 March 2013, Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the EC in charge of the Digital Agenda, gave in Brussels a press conference on the new rules proposed by the European Commission to cut by 30% the cost of rolling out high-speed Internet. Civil engineering, such as the digging up of roads to lay down fibre, accounts for up to 80% of the cost of deploying high-speed networks.
High-speed broadband is the backbone of the telecoms and wider Digital Single Market, the European Commission is attempting to build. Its rollout is currently slowed down by a patchwork of rules and administrative practices at national and sub-national levels.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the European Commission in Brussels
||Arrival of Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the EC in charge of the Digital Agenda, to the press conference
||Soundbite by Neelie Kroes (in ENGLISH): 10 percentage points more broadband means 1 to 1.5% more Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, well that is what indeed we are looking for to date. Other parts of the world are racing ahead in this area talking about the People's Republic of China, Korea, the US. We can't get left behind.
||Cutaway of a photographer
||Soundbite by Neelie Kroes (in ENGLISH): Cutting duplicate work sounds very easy and could be easy. Putting broadband networks in place needs physical infrastructure like ducts, cabinets, or towers. But often it is already available - and you can just re-use infrastructure owned by others. Why should you spend extra money and effort duplicating what is already there?
||Cutaway of the audience
||Soundbite by Neelie Kroes (in ENGLISH): We will increase coordination for new works. Making it just easier for operators and providers to work together, especially when taxpayers' money is at stake. It is a must. And cutting the cost and hassle of repeated road works.
||Cutaway of a document in the hands of a participant
||Soundbite by Neelie Kroes (in ENGLISH): The red tape in getting permits adds complexity and cost – jeopardising the broadband boost. Including for mobile. Under our proposal, conditions would be more transparent, requests could be made through a single point, and by default decisions should be taken within 6 months.
||Cutaway of a screen
||Soundbite by Neelie Kroes (in ENGLISH): We will ensure broadband-ready buildings. All new buildings and major renovations will have to be equipped for high-speed broadband. It's common sense: it's what citizens want, and it's a good property investment. After all, these days you wouldn't buy a new house or office that didn't have electricity or running water.
||Cutaway of a cameraman
||Soundbite by Neelie Kroes (in ENGLISH): And all together these measures could save between 40 and 60 billion euros; that could make achieving our broadband targets up to 30% cheaper. It will cut repeated roadworks: meaning fewer traffic jams, less noise and less nuisance. Plus, it will give infrastructure owners, public and private, the option of a new revenue stream, from leasing their assets.
||Neelie Kroes leaving the press conference