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Digital Agenda: Fast and ultra-fast broadband closer to you
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20/09/2010 00:00:00

Three complementary measures to facilitate the roll out and take up of fast and ultra-fast broadband in the EU have been adopted today by the European Commission. The aim of the package is to provide regulatory certainty, to encourage investment in high and ultra-high speed networks and to ensure among other things that spectrum is available for wireless broadband. The measures aim to help the EU realise the commitments in the Digital Agenda for Europe to give every European access to basic broadband by 2013 and fast and ultra fast broadband by 2020 (see IP/10/581, MEMO/10/199 and MEMO/10/200).

Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda said "Fast broadband is digital oxygen, essential for Europe's prosperity and well-being. These measures will help to ensure that Europeans get the first-class internet they expect and deserve,so that they can access the content and services they want. "

The package adopted today comprises:

•       A Commission Recommendation on Regulated Access to Next Generation Access (NGA) networks sets out a common regulatory approach for access to new high-speed fibre networks that requires national telecoms regulators to ensure an appropriate balance between the needs to encourage investment and to safeguard competition. This will provide increased regulatory clarity to all market players, which is necessary to stimulate investment in fast and ultra-fast broadband. MEMO/10/424

•       A Commission proposal for a Decision by the European Parliament and Council to establish a 5 year policy programme to promote efficient radio spectrum management and, in particular, ensuring that sufficient spectrum is made available by 2013 for wireless broadband (which will significantly contribute bringing fast broadband connections to people in remote areas and to make innovative services available across Europe). MEMO/10/425

•       A Broadband Communication that sets out a coherent framework for meeting the Digital Agenda's broadband targets and, in particular, outlines how best to encourage public and private investment in fast and ultra-fast broadband networks. It calls on EU Member States to introduce operational broadband plans for high and ultra high speed networks with concrete implementing measures, it provides guidance on how to cut investment costs and indicates how public authorities may support broadband investment, including making better use EU funds. It also announces plans by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank to bring forward broadband finance instruments. (See MEMO/10/427)

    Background

    You can find figures on broadband penetration in Europe in the attached Annex.

    Further information on the practical aspects of package MEMO/10/426

    Currently Europe as a region has the highest average levels of broadband take-up worldwide (24.8%) but its networks need to be further developed and upgraded. For instance, today only 1% of Europeans have a high-speed fibre internet connection directly to their homes, compared to 12% of Japanese and 15% of South Koreans.

    The Digital Agenda sets ambitious targets for broadband, ensuring by 2013 basic broadband coverage for all EU citizens and, by 2020, fast broadband coverage at 30 Megabits per second available to all EU citizens, with at least half European households subscribing to broadband access at 100 Megabits per second.

    Annex pdf - 28 KB [28 KB]

     

    For more information, please contact the London press office on 020 7973 1971.

    Please note: all amounts expressed in sterling are for information purposes only.

    Last update: 31/10/2010  |Top