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The FTTH Council Europe says the European Commission has missed an opportunity to promote the rollout of full-fibre connections for super-fast broadband.

In its proposal of a Digital Single Market, the Commission has outlined plans for new measures on mobile roaming, net neutrality and broadband coverage.

However, the FTTH Council Europe has expressed disappointment at the lack of a focus on driving fibre coverage across the European Union.

"The proposal fails to set out a vision of how the industry can accelerate investments for the benefit of the broader economy," the council stated.

It noted that the Commission has identified the slow deployment of LTE mobile broadband as being a problem, and also tried to identify areas to foster next generation wireless connectivity.

And in light of this, the council said it would expect fibre to receive a similar policy focus.

"A lack of LTE deployment may be also related to a lack of supporting fibre investments, but the Commission refuses to prioritise fibre-to-the-home investments on the grounds of technological neutrality," it stated.

"The result is that regulatory policies effectively promote copper upgrades that can’t support the capacity requirements of users, fixed or mobile, into the future."

Hartwig Tauber, Director General of the FTTH Council Europe, said greater focus is needed on future-proof fibre networks across Europe, and for this to occur, it will be necessary to facilitate new models of financing.

"I believe the failure to have a proper public consultation may have led to some big policy misses," he stated.

The Commission wants 50 per cent of EU households to have access to 100Mb broadband by the end of the decade. In addition, it is targeting full 30Mb broadband coverage across EU member states by 2020.

According to the FTTH Council Europe, an investment of around €200 billion (£168 billion) would be needed to deliver full-fibre broadband across the whole of the EU.

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