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European operators warn of risks to infrastructure under reform plans

ETNO, the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association, has issued a strong warning about the direction of the European Electronic Communications Code. It says it is “no ordinary legislation. This is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to unlock investment in world-class infrastructure, which is the core of a successful society and economy. However, key parts of the debate so far risk leading to the opposite.” While heads of state rightly set digital as a top political priority, the current legislative debate does not reflect the vital role of infrastructure and is detached from consumer behaviours and market realities, says ETNO. “We either get this reform right today, or there will be no other chance for the coming 10 years. This matters both in terms of global competitiveness of all EU sectors as well as empowerment of citizens.” It notes that
the telecoms sector has been faced with a daily loss of value of €100m/day for the past 10 years. At the same time, the sector is expected to deploy over €500bn investment in 5G and fibre.. “As an industry subject to economic regulation, investors judge telcos primarily on the regulatory outlook. High regulatory pressure and outdated rules have harmed the EU telecoms sector already in the past. What is more, the latest Parliament and Council proposals led investors to issue sharply negative notes, with an expected deterioration of the investment climate. This is bad news for all those who understand the strategic necessity of building a European gigabit society.” To save the reform, ETNO says strong investment incentives are needed, including predictable long-term spectrum licences, reliable incentives for investment in very-high capacity fixed networks and a rejection of all proposed measures that would create uncertainty, add layers of regulation and complexity and depress investment. And innovation and consumer choice should be prioritised, by empowering telcos to compete on the same terms as internet players and by ensuring that European consumers are still able to benefit from the most popular offers, including bundled services. Read more. Meanwhile the GSMA has also issued an open letter on spectrum management to European ministers – more here 

  • Tuesday, 17 October 2017

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