Computer & Communication Industry Association
PublishedJanuary 30, 2024

EU Should Consider All Available Technologies To Meet 2030 Connectivity Targets, Tech Industry Urges

Brussels, BELGIUM – In a new paper launched today, the tech and digital sector calls on EU policymakers to embrace forward-thinking solutions to achieve the EU’s 2030 Digital Decade connectivity targets, rather than focussing on incumbent players’ doom and gloom.

In light of the European Commission’s upcoming connectivity package, due next month, the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA Europe) urges policymakers to adopt an approach that empowers the entire connectivity sector – rather than picking favourites, winners, and losers.

Last year, the Commission initiated a consultation on the future of the EU’s electronic communications sector. This sparked heated debates about big telecom companies’ demands for payments from online content and application providers, which subsequently were rejected by a vast majority of stakeholders and Member States.

As the discussion now pivots to a potential major overhaul of telecom rules in 2025, CCIA Europe urges the EU to look at the technological solutions of the future, rather than those of the past. To that end, the Association has published a white paper, presenting six concrete proposals on how to achieve the 2030 connectivity targets in the most effective manner.

  1. Diversify broadband supply, through satellites and open-RAN technology for instance
  2. Support content delivery practices and investments, e.g. CDNs and subsea cables
  3. Improve transparency and control over European connectivity funding
  4. Support open peering policies for more efficient internet connectivity
  5. Foster consumer demand for 5G to create market-driven network deployment
  6. Ensure the sustainability of networks, aligned with the EU’s green goals

CCIA Europe invites EU lawmakers, regulators, and other stakeholders to engage in a constructive dialogue on future connectivity policy based on this new white paper, fostering collaboration to build a competitive, open, and innovative European digital ecosystem.

The following can be attributed to Senior Vice President and Head of CCIA Europe, Daniel Friedlaender:

“Europe should not race blindly towards targets that may no longer even be valid. Stakeholders with vested interests will always keep arguing they need more money to achieve connectivity goals.”

“The EU should take a step back and rethink how it can achieve its Digital Decade targets in the most efficient and cost-effective way. The discussion to date has only focused on supporting one part of a much wider sector, and has ignored whether or not there is sufficient consumer demand or interest.”

“A toll road operator doesn’t want to invest in empty lanes that no one uses. You need to meet actual consumer demand in order to grow and invest. Rather than discussing how the EU can convince investors to give money to certain telecom operators, we should be talking about how we can drive consumer demand for all connectivity services first.”

Notes for editors

Next month, the European Commission is expected to present its new Digital Networks Strategy (DNS) on the future of telecom networks and infrastructure. Although the DNS will be a non-legislative package, it might prepare the ground for possible regulatory action by the next Commission.

The upcoming Strategy will include a Commission white paper, which among other things will look at the status of the digital single market and the creation of pan-European telecom operators.

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