7/13/2009 12:09:00 PM
‘Digital Europe’ plans outlined as saviour of European economy
The European Commission has outlined a strategy to expand the Digital Britain obligation into Europe, as it looks to fast track the recovery of the economy.
EU Commissioner for Telecoms and Media Viviane Reding launched the plan in her Ludwig Erhard Lecture 2009 at the Lisbon Council in Brussels last week.
UK Minister for Technology Lord Stephen Carter, author of the Digital Britain report, has joined Reding in calls for all European states to provide universal access to wired or wireless broadband by 2013.
Reding (pictured) outlined steps towards a competitive infrastructure for a Digital Europe and called for a reform of Europe's telecoms rules.
She said that experts estimate that the present regulatory fragmentation in telecoms costs €20bn (£17.2bn) per year.
She added that regulators ‘need to be flexible’ and encourage investments in next generation broadband access.
The EC is now preparing measures to abolish regulatory restrictions and reduce the cost of offering 3G.
Reding also called for reform of the EU's GSM Directive to re-use the radio spectrum in the GSM band for new mobile services, which she said would lead to savings of up to €1.6bn in capital costs for the mobile industry.
Reding and Carter said the ongoing switchover from analogue to digital TV in Europe would be accelerated, which would release radio spectrum for mobile broadband.