European Commission Attacks Broadband Regulatory Mess

In a warm-up to the forthcoming Single Market for Telecommunications proposal, Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, has sharply criticised the “regulatory mess” affecting broadband.

European telecoms companies are currently facing different charges and regulatory systems depending on the Member State in which they operate, making them reluctant to invest in new high-speed networks and to enter new markets. This lack of certainty is one of the reasons Europe is lagging behind other countries in the global race to build fast fixed broadband connections.

Key to the upcoming Single Market for Telecommunications proposal, expected on 11 September, will be a tighter set of principles for encouraging investment, as well as a series of common rules governing copper prices and fibre regulation, aimed at giving more stability to incumbent European telecommunications companies owning copper lines and renting them out to smaller players.