New Rules for Broadband Roll-out Published

May 22, 2014

The EU Commission claims that a new Directive on measures to reduce the cost of broadband roll-out, which was published in the Official Journal on 23 May, will cut costs and increase the reach of high-speed broadband networks. See here for the full text of the Directive. 

Wolf-Dietrich Grussmann, Head of Unit ‘Regulatory Coordination and Business’ at the European Commission’s Communications Networks, Content and Technology Directorate-General, claims that the Directive will scale up national best practices in four main areas:

·        enhanced facility sharing with energy, transport and other utilities of existing infrastructure (such as ducts, poles or masts), for operators willing to invest to provide high-speed broadband;

·        efficient coordination of civil works, avoiding digging duplication;

·        faster & simpler permit granting;

·        equipping new buildings and major renovations with high-speed infrastructures and organising access to it.

Member States have until 1 January 2016 to transpose the Directive into their national legislation. The Commission is organising a workshop on the 26 June 2014 on how telecom operators and energy operators can work together to enhance mutual understandings and cooperation to make the most of the Directive and will be ‘providing non-stop guidance’ to public authorities and network operators in its Broadband portal.

Mr Gussman said:

‘The digital economy is growing at seven times the rate of the rest of the economy. Much of this growth has been fuelled by broadband internet. The development of high-speed networks today is having the same revolutionary impact as the development of electricity and transportation networks had a century ago. I am confident that this piece of legislation will contribute so that every euro invested in network deployment has maximum impact.’