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European Commission

MEMO

Brussels, 15 April 2014

Commission welcomes European Parliament support for a safer, healthier, high-tech and more #Connected Continent

@NeelieKroes, today welcomed European Parliament votes on cheaper and easier to install broadband, on eCall, on research to keep Active an Assisted Living and Electronics.

Reduced cost of broadband deployment

Today the European Parliament voted on EU rules which would cut by 30% the cost of rolling out high-speed Internet.

European Commission Vice-President @NeelieKroesEU said: "Broadband for all is not a promise! It is a commitment, of the EU, of the European Commission, of the Heads of States. Today's measures are another step towards delivering better internet for the Europeans. I thank Edit Herczog and the shadows for their work here".

The Directive tackles four main problem areas:

  1. No Expensive duplication of infrastructure by opening access to all technically suitable infrastructure belonging to utilities or telecom operators, such as ducts, conduits, manholes, cabinets, poles, masts, antennae installations, towers and other supporting constructions, to operators who invest to provide high-speed broadband to the public.

From now on, telecom operators will have to build less new poles and ducts before bringing their fibre to remote areas and less new towers for their antennas. They will be able to reuse infrastructure of the utilities, or of other operators at a fair price. This means cheaper and faster deployment.

What national best practice inspired the Directive? In Lithuania, such measures made many NGA deployments economically viable, leading to some of the highest NGA coverage in Europe. Even citizens living in remote, rural areas will have next generation networks reaching them easier, sooner, ensuring access to a wide range of smart services.

  1. Better coordination of civil works by cutting all barriers to coordination of civil works and setting minimum obligations for efficient work planning.

No more digging up the road every few months. Telecom companies will know in advance the planning of the civil works and will be able to join in, share the cost and deploy their network. This means less hassle for citizens, through less public works, in short Less digging - more broadband.

What national best practice inspired the Directive? In Malta the National Roads Authority informs all the utility companies about trenching works planned by other utility companies intending to install underground infrastructure in order to allow coordination between themselves. When works are carried out on the strategic road network, coordination is even more extensive so as to minimise their financial impact and traffic disruption.

  1. Easier and faster procedures by imposing transparency of permit granting procedures, which must be completed within 4 months, unless national law provides otherwise. Any rejection of the permit will have to be justified objectively.

What national best practice inspired the Directive? Legislation in the Netherlands has made deployment more straightforward and has reduced administrative burdens. This is likely to be a strong contributory factor to the enhanced coverage seen in the Netherlands today.

  • Upgrading old and inaccessible in-building infrastructure by mandating the equipment of new buildings & major renovations with high-speed infrastructure and organising access to it.

What national best practice inspired the Directive? In Portugal, all new buildings as well as renovated buildings must incorporate fibre. In Spain constructors of new and renovated multi-dwelling buildings must connect each apartment to a central point. This allows easier access to an NGA network.

This new legislation will help delivering EU goals: by 2020, all European citizens and businesses should have access to the Internet at a speed of at least 30 Mbps and at least 50% of European households should subscribe to Internet connections above 100 Mbps.

The Commission made a legislative proposal in March 2013 after the call of the Heads of State and Government of the 27 EU member states to: "complete the Digital Single Market by 2015 … including by reducing the cost of high-speed broadband infrastructure".

MEPs also voted on:

eCall from October 2015 all the new passenger cars will need to be equipped with a system which in case of accident automatically dials 112 - Europe's single emergency number. More on eCall (MEMO/13/547) .

European Commission Vice-President @NeelieKroes said: "EU-wide eCall is a big step forward for road safety. When you need emergency support it's much better to be connected than to be alone, that's the value of ICT."

Research to help Europe's ageing population demographic change. MEPs showed support for the €175 million Active and Assisted Living (AAL) programme (2014 – 2020) which will address the challenges and opportunities of an ageing population through new ICT-based products and services. Research will be focus around 6 themes: medication adherence, fall prevention, frailty and malnutrition, integrated care, independent living and age-friendly environments.

European Commission Vice-President @NeelieKroes said: "The new AAL Programme will be closer to the market and will ensure that the results respond to actual user needs. It will have SME partners and greater user-involvement in each phase of each project. ALL will help having real products for the real needs."

European leadership in Electronic Components and Systems

The EP also voted on a new a public-private partnership ECSEL (Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership). ECSEL will lead to a Europe-wide research and development programme in the fields of nanoelectronics, smart and embedded systems with an incentive for industry, Member States and the European Union. It is to provide a major opportunity to cooperate across Europe and leverage investments in this field. The EU contribution to the ECSEL JU will be of €1,185 billion.

European Commission Vice-President @NeelieKroes said: "ECSEL Joint Undertaking is to provide a major opportunity to cooperate across Europe and leverage investments in the field. I welcome the strong emphasis on creating a Europe-wide research and innovation programme with an incentive for industry, Member States and the European Union."

Useful links

http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/broadband-0Broadband in the Digital Agenda

eCall in the Digital Agenda

AAL in the Digital Agenda

Electronics in the Digital Agenda

Vice President Neelie Kroes

Contacts

Email: comm-kroes@ec.europa.eu Tel: +32.229.57361 Twitter: @RyanHeathEU


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