Telecoms providers have been warned to "adapt or die" by Neelie Kroes, the outgoing European Commissioner (EC) for Digital Agenda.
Adressing members of the European Telecommunications Network Operators Association (ETNO), she warned that too many providers have adopted protectionist positions in the past.
The European Commission is aiming to deliver 30Mb broadband to the entire European Union by 2020, and also ensure at least half of all citizens have access to 100Mb speeds.
At the same time it is aiming to build a single telecoms market - one underpinned by net neutrality and free international roaming.
However, Ms Kroes suggested some operators have hampered the EC's attempts to reform the telecoms sector and improve the services delivered to end-users.
Speaking at the ETNO Sumit 2014, she accepted new regulation may be needed in some areas, but said service providers must also be willing to embrace change.
Ms Kroes accused some of "looking backwards to old business models and dated revenue streams".
She welcomed the launch of ETNO’s newly-published Agenda for Europe, describing this as a positive development.
ETNO has called for the development of powerful infrastructure - by aligning the regulatory framework to the third investment cycle in 4G and fibre - an updated competition approach, early incentives for ICT adoption, consistent privacy and security rules, and the promotion of enriched citizenship and welfare.
Ms Kroes claimed that the new agenda can help ETNO play a positive role in shaping Europe’s digital future.
"It is a positive vision: but now it needs to be acted on, and implemented," she added.