New EU-plans to promote broadband access
The European Telecom ministers have welcomed new action plans from the
Commission to promote broadband access in Europe. The Commission calls on
Member States who have not yet put in place a national broadband strategy
to do so without delay, with a focus on delivering broadband in
under-served areas via a variety of platforms. This summer the Commission
is due to report about the progress on the different broadband strategies
to both Council and Parliament.
The European Commission sees information and communication technologies as
key factor for economical growth and improvement of productivity in
Europe. On 3 February 2004, the Commission adopted the Communication
“Connecting Europe at high speed: Recent developments in the sector of
electronic communications”. This report sums up a number of actions still
needed to address barriers to further investment:
-Member states must implement the new regulatory framework for electronic
communications (a package of 4 directives) as soon as possible. The
Commission is pursuing the necessary steps to ensure rapid transposition,
which could if necessary lead to states being brought before the European
Court of Justice.
-Member states must bring back the amount of regulation that frustrates
competition, especially when it is protecting former monopolists.
The Commission also calls on member states to encourage the broader
take-up and use of new services and technologies, particularly by the
public sector, in order to stimulate demand and investment.
Finally, the Commission will set up a forum to discuss the problem of the
digital divide, and create ‘a new high level group’ to work on Digital
Rights Management as a way to promote innovative new services.
RAPID report about the Telecom Council (08.03.2004)
Communication European Commission ‘Connecting Europe at high speed: recent
developments in the sector of electronic communications’ (03.02.2004)