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Broadband providers need more market certainty in order to increase their investment in next-generation networks, it has been suggested.

European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes said it is "time to change" the way broadband network development is regulated and incentivised.

She said the sector needs more certainty to help it invest and grow - with more predictable prices and revenue streams needed for network owners.

"I want citizens to start enjoying the benefits of faster, next generation broadband networks," Ms Kroes claimed.

"In the absence of public funding to support better broadband, it is vital that all companies have a stable and consistent system."

She said this is how the Commission can maximise investment and the infrastructure competition that encourages broadband providers to commit to capital projects.

Ms Kroes said it will be formalising a tighter set of principles for encouraging investment in a forthcoming legislative package.

She noted that the principles were first outlined in July 2012, but have been refined through collaboration with regulators over the last 12 months.

"We are determined to deliver stable copper prices and fibre regulation that reflects market reality," Ms Kroes added.

The Commission wants every household and business in the European Union to have access to at least 30Mb download speeds by the end of the decade.

A target of 50 per cent coverage of 100Mb broadband services has also been set.

According to the Commission, between €100 billion (£84.8 billion) and €270 billion is needed to roll out high-speed internet across Europe, depending on the technologies and time-scales involved.

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