Today, telecoms companies face different charges and regulatory systems from country to country in the EU, despite years of Commission efforts to smooth out these differences. Overall, these problems make companies reluctant to invest large sums in new high-speed networks, while limiting competition by making it difficult for companies to enter new markets based on an existing business model.

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The effect is that Europe is losing the global race to build fast fixed broadband connections. Concretely: telecoms companies are under-performing, other businesses are losing competitiveness and frustrated consumers are stuck in the internet slow lane.