Kroes to meet telecoms CEOs
Tuesday 12 July 2011
Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes is set to meet the CEOs of large European telecoms and online content companies, on 13 July in Brussels. She will hear the recommendations of three work groups led by Alcatel-Lucent (on the deployment of high-speed broadband), Deutsche Telekom (on standardisation) and Vivendi (on online content). Although the Commission wishes to guarantee high-speed internet access by 2013 for all Europeans, and super high-speed by 2020 for at least 50% of households, investments in optical fibre are lagging. Reconciling the interests of ex-monopoly operators and new operators is difficult: according to the former, private investment must continue in urban areas (while rural areas must receive help from the state), while according to the latter, the EU must find solutions to minimise the cost of duplicating networks and opening up future networks to competition using “non-discriminatory criteria”.