Investments in ‘Fiber to the home’, high-capacity 5G networks and no more extra fees on intra-EU calls. These are all elements in the updated basic rules for telecom companies - the so-called European Electronic Communications Code.
“Our citizens expect that we deliver better, faster and competitive telecommunications. And this is exactly what we propose to do with these new rules”, said Pilar del Castillo MEP, the EPP Group Spokeswoman, after new rules for the electronic communication code were agreed in the Industry Committee in the European Parliament.
Pilar del Castillo points out that connectivity is a precondition for Europe’s digitalisation. Industry 4.0, smart cities, education, research or m-health are all examples of the exponential growth of demand for high quality, fast, secure and pervasive connectivity. Europe must fully seize the potential of technological developments such as the Internet of Things, Big Data or Cloud computing.
“Harnessing all of these opportunities will require investment in very high capacity networks that include the deployment of 5G, and consequently one of the priorities of Parliament is to stimulate the necessary investment for the development of such networks”, added Pilar del Castillo.
New rules on investments will make it possible to build very high capacity networks that will deliver very high-speed internet at home.
“It will be mostly private money and private companies that will build the internet highways of the future. By changing the rules and allowing a co-investment model to flourish, we can make it happen”, she continued.
Furthermore, the committee decided by an overwhelming majority to regulate intra EU calls. This means that companies cannot charge higher fees to users when calling from mobiles or landlines to another EU Member State than they do when calling within their Member State, unless objectively justified by the additional direct costs that the operator might have to bear.
“The regulating of intra-EU calls is the next logical step and will demonstrate our will to make steady improvements for the citizens and businesses of Europe”, concluded del Castillo.
It is estimated (by the European Commission) that we need investments in the order of €500 to €600 billion in infrastructure to cover the needs.