Commission proposal for more and better internet connectivity for all citizens and businesses

Thursday 15 September 2016

On 14 September, the European Commission proposed ‘an overhaul of EU telecoms rules with new initiatives to meet Europeans’ growing connectivity needs and boost Europe’s competitiveness. These proposals will encourage investment in very high-capacity networks and accelerate public access to Wi-Fi for Europeans.’ (Read the full press release here)

The Commission proposes the so-called ‘Electronic communications code’ – an ambitious plan to improve the old regulation from 2009 and to adapt it to the fast changing reality of the telecom market. The Commission estimates that ‘the investments triggered by the new framework could boost our GDP by an additional €910 billion and create 1.3 million new jobs over the next decade (by 2025).’

UNI Europa ICTS couldn’t agree more with the Commission’s objectives for providing all EU citizens with fast internet connections and to provide a coordinated strategy for the deployment of 5G networks. We especially welcome that the Commission has understood the importance of affordable broadband internet access for all EU citizens and to integrate universal service broadband in the proposal. UNI Europa ICTS has been demanding this already for the last revision of the telecom rules.

However, reaching the Commission’s ambitious targets will be a challenging path given the need for infrastructure investment of 155 billion euros. The Commission’s plans are a good start but it will remain to be seen whether its promises can be kept. This is especially the case regarding the Commission’s estimation that the new telecom rules should help create 1.3 million new jobs over the next decade – for UNI Europa ICTS it remains unclear what kind of jobs would be created where.