Kroes vows to “burn red tape” blocking broadband rollout

European Commission vice president Neelie Kroes has outlined proposals to cut the costs and bureaucracy involved in broadband deployment, suggesting that the sector could make savings of up to €60bn. Kroes said that she wants to “burn the red tape” that is blocking access for all EU citizens to cast broadband.

In February this year the Commission cut the budget for the Connecting Europe Facility—which aims to fund the rollout of super-fast broadband across the continent—from the €9.2bn that Kroes sought to just €1bn.

The proposals announced on Tuesday include plans to cut the amount of time taken to respond to planning permission for new infrastructure sites; one of the most significant barriers to network deployment. In a statement Kroes’ office said that it wants to see a maximum response time of six months for all permit applications and a single point of contact made available for operators making those applications.

Kroes also wants to improve cooperation between different infrastructure providers.

“At the moment, there is no market-place for physical infrastructure and the potential to use infrastructure belonging to other utilities. Regulations in certain Member States even discourage utility companies from cooperating with telecom operators,” the statement said.

  • Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies

One comment

  1. Avatar David Brunnen 26/03/2013 @ 4:29 pm

    And Neelie makes a very good point – the scope for other utilities to be involved in digital infrastructure is huge.

    Look for example at the Gigabit network provided by the electricity utility in Chattanooga – justified almost entirely by massive savings in energy and faster outage recovery.

    Several countries seem to be double spending – Next Generation digital networks AND networks for smart metering/grids. Of course the technocrats say that the light brigade don’t need the capacity but digital economies need a cross-silo approach to long-term infrastructure investment.

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