Meddelelse fra Kommisjonen til Europaparlamentet, Rådet, Den europeiske økonomiske og sosiale komite og Regionsutvalget. Tilgang i et konkurransedyktig digitalt indre marked: mot et europeisk gigabitsamfunn
Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. Connectivity for a Competitive Digital Single Market - Towards a European Gigabit Society
BAKGRUNN (fra kommisjonsmeddelelsen, engelsk utgave)
Over the last decade EU electronic communications policy has been successful in delivering more competition, lower prices and more choice for businesses and consumers. However, consumers and businesses still face fragmentation of the electronic communications markets along the national borders and the current regulatory framework has not systematically favoured deployment by all market actors of very high-capacity networks.
Furthermore, significant changes have taken place within the electronic communications sector since the EU telecoms regulatory framework was last revised in 2009. Patterns of consumption and needs are radically changing, with voice telephony increasingly replaced by fixed and mobile Internet access, delivered to a range of connected devices (smartphones, tablets, computers, TV) and offering access to an ever-increasing array of digital services 1 which place ever-increasing demands on the networks over which they are provided. And even more is needed in the years to come as services and applications based on the Internet of Things, cloud computing and virtual and augmented reality develop and grow.
The full economic and social benefits of this digital transformation will only be achieved if Europe can ensure widespread deployment and take-up of very high capacity networks, in rural as well as urban areas and across all of society. One of the main aims of the European Commission's Digital Single Market Strategy of May 2015 was therefore to create the right environment and conditions for the deployment of advanced digital – very high-capacity – networks. Since the telecoms sector today is an enabler for the entire digital economy and society, Europe needs to act quickly to secure its future global competitiveness and prosperity.
In January 2016, the European Parliament underlined the role of private investment in Internet connectivity networks for digital progress and the role of a stable regulatory framework in enabling all players to invest in all areas, including rural and remote ones. Likewise the European Council called in June 2016 for very high-capacity fixed and wireless broadband connectivity across Europe, as a precondition for future competitiveness, and for telecoms regulatory reform to incentivise major network investments while promoting effective competition and consumer rights.
This Communication confirms the importance of Internet connectivity for the Digital Single Market and the need for Europe to deploy now the networks for its digital future. To this end, it sets out a vision for a European Gigabit society, where availability and take-up of very high capacity networks enable the widespread use of products, services and applications in the Digital Single Market. This vision is operationalised through three strategic objectives for 2025: for Europe's growth and jobs, Gigabit connectivity for places driving socio-economic developments; for Europe's competitiveness, 5G coverage for all urban areas and all major terrestrial transport paths; for Europe's cohesion, access for all European households to Internet connectivity offering at least 100 Mbps.
To help make this vision a reality, this Communication proposes a series of initiatives designed to establish the right conditions for the necessary investments to take place, primarily to be achieved by the market. These consist of a major reform of the regulatory framework for electronic communications, in the form of the accompanying legislative proposal for a European Electronic Communications Code (the Code) 5 and BEREC Regulation, an Action Plan on 5G connectivity for Europe 6 and further policy and financial measures, at Union, national and local levels, including a "Wi-Fi for Europe" initiative to promote widespread availability of Wi-Fi connections for citizens across the EU. The aim is to boost Europe's digital economy and competitiveness, encourage communities to be active participants in the Digital Single Market and to meet Europeans' growing connectivity needs.