A connected Continent. For this, the EU needs to be equipped with a pro-competitive set of telecom rules aimed at delivering growth, innovation and user choice in electronic communications. High speed communication infrastructure is essential for the future of Europe and therefore investment needs to be stimulated. The Commission proposes to reduce the costs and increase efficiency in the deployment of fixed high speed broadband. This initiative aims to facilitate the roll out of EU-wide high-speed broadband so that all parts of the European Union can be connected.
Bring forward rules to support a competitive single market and to foster innovation and investment, in particular negotiate with the EP and CONS the proposed Regulation to reduce the cost and increase efficiency in the deployment of high speed communication infrastructure.
Studies suggest that the largest single cost component of deploying networks, going up to 80%, is civil engineering. These costs could be significantly reduced by the re-use of existing telecommunications ducts, the sharing of alternative infrastructure owned by other utilities, coordination of civil works across utilities (e.g. water, transport, energy) and/or by improved coordination between national and local authorities.
Several measures to facilitate broadband roll-out are being adopted in Member States, yet they remain scarce and scattered (with different scope and obligations, deployed on a regional or even local basis). In the absence of a coordinated approach to reducing costs and streamlining procedures, the strategic objective of achieving an inexpensive, world-class infrastructure for high-speed internet can hardly be achieved.
The 2011 Spring European Council called for further efforts at EU level to complete the Digital Single Market by 2015, including specifically by reducing the cost of high-speed broadband infrastructure. The December 2012 European Council invited the Council and the Parliament to give the Single Market Act II proposals, including this one, the highest priority with a view to their adoption by the end of the current parliamentary cycle at the latest.
This initiative will impact electronic communications operators, utility operators (water, energy, transport) and housing companies as well as national, regional and local authorities competent for the issuance of building / rights of way permits.
•In general operators will benefit not only from reduced costs but also through increased business opportunities.
•At the same time the transparency and coordination requirements for public authorities are expected to increase.
•Acting at EU level should improve consistency by preventing the emerging patchwork of different national practices from acting as barriers to the Single Market and should unleash the full potential of those measures to reduce costs.
•Moreover, it will lead to increased competition on the internal market, especially to the benefit of companies willing to invest cross-border, allowing them to achieve economies of scale.
Timeframe: from entry into force of the legislative measure.
Broadly speaking, €15 billion - €63 billion cost savings are expected in broadband roll-out across Europe (estimated to cost more than € 200 Billion) to reach DAE targets, with impact on investment and competition and spill-overs in related industries. The actual impact will depend the final shape of the legislation to be adopted by Parliament and Council, and the effective use of those enabling provisions by industry. This impact should be measured over the same period of time as the one provided for the roll-out of broadband networks according to the DAE targets. Importantly, broadband deployment and financial conditions for it also depend on other factors.