The GSMA and ETNO welcome Commissioner Breton’s call for a “whatever it takes” moment for the future of telecom policy, in light of its critical role for EU competitiveness in the global tech race.
We support the European Commission’s continued focus and leadership in seeking to address the investment gap in Europe’s digital infrastructure as well as the need for increased EU leadership in the connectivity value chain. The results of the consultation clearly validate the need for additional investment, with a view to support the roll-out of resilient 5G and fibre infrastructure, the transition to virtualized networks, but also to cope with increased data traffic and new security requirements.
In light of the 2030 Digital Decade targets, we now call for an accelerated process and momentum to present, discuss and advance the “Digital Networks Act”. It is important to urgently address the consultation’s findings, with concrete action in areas such the investment gap, the financial sustainability of the sector, scale, innovation as well as simplification and streamlining of regulation.
As outlined in Commissioner Breton’s statement, this implies, among others:
- Creating a real telecom single market in which operators achieve the necessary scale;
- Making network investment more attractive by tackling low returns, finding a new financing model and addressing spectrum issues;
- Acknowledging the strategic value of the sector from a digital sovereignty viewpoint.
We welcome the Commissioner’s commitment to “finding a financing model for the huge investment needed”. We look forward to how the Commission will use all policy levers to tackle the investment gap including the issue of a fair share through contribution from Large Traffic Generators, as also called for by the European Parliament.
Timely action and clarity will now be of the essence for Europe to regain its competitiveness and for European citizens and businesses to get the best in class digital infrastructure they deserve. Building an inclusive and leading digital society is an urgent matter. ETNO and the GSMA remain committed to providing the necessary input and to continuing the dialogue with all EU institutions and stakeholders on this crucial topic. We stand ready to support swift policy action and political leadership, both in the Commission and among legislators.