Thursday, November 27, 2008

Drip feed

One down, 299 to go!

I've never much cared for fudge...

"The industry welcomed the Commission's fresh commitment to broadband but many regretted that today's crucial Telecoms Council (27 November) will not propose to review rules to facilitate building new networks in its overall reform of the telecoms sector.

Telecoms ministers are instead set to approve a text based on the original proposal from the Commission, which did not include references to new infrastructure: so-called Next Generation Networks (NGNs). Amendments by the Parliament, widely referring to NGN policies, will not be taken into consideration (EurActiv 17/11/08).

The Council will only discuss future networks in a separate debate regarding a different Commission proposalPdf external , which is still at the first stage of the legislative process. Many are concerned that, by not including NGNs in the telecoms package immediately, the topic will be postponed even further, delaying private investment and running contrary to the urgency highlighted by the Commission in its recovery plan.

The gap between the national and Commission positions in terms of broadband is not limited to NGNs. The Council does not share the bold objective of reaching a broadband-for-all target by 2010, as proposed again by the EU executive in its recovery plan (EurActiv 17/03/08).

Moreover, ministers do not agree with the radio spectrum "revolution" called for by the Commission to exploit the digital dividend. The Council will today reject Brussels' proposals and instead adopt a rather conservative line in support of the current primary holders of frequencies: broadcasters. The Commission pushed instead for reallocation in favour of internet providers as means of exploiting the digital dividend to tackle the digital divide."

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