This impact assessment accompanies a legislative proposal that would, if adopted by the Council and European Parliament, render the deployment of high-speed broadband networks less expensive and more efficient.

It would do so by ensuring improved access to suitable physical infrastructure, more opportunities for cooperation in civil engineering works, streamlined permit granting procedures for rolling out broadband networks, and more buildings ready for high-speed broadband.

The Single Market Act II includes this initiative as one of its 12 key actions.

The Digital Agenda for Europe, one of the flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, underlines the importance of broadband connectivity for European growth and innovation and for social inclusion and employment. The Digital Agenda sets ambitious coverage and speed targets and requires Member States to take measures, including legal provisions, to facilitate broadband investment.

The 2012 Spring Council has asked for steps to be taken at EU level to achieve costs savings in the deployment of high-speed broadband networks, as part of the efforts to complete the Digital Single Market by 2015.

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