High Speed Internet for All 2010
The recent ECTA conference, 'High Speed Internet for All' 1-2 June 2010, was opened by a keynote speech on behalf of the Belgian Presidency, who will take over the Presidency of the EU on 1 July 2010. Anne Everard, Vice-Director of the Belgian Ministry of Economics, outlined Belgium’s 5-year Digital Plan and discussed the 30 measures that aim to improve the effectiveness of the electronic communications regulatory framework. Belgium was highlighted as making the best progress in the 2009 ECTA Regulatory Scorecard, which was then presented by Richard Cadman, Managing Director of SPC Networks and one of the Scorecard’s authors. This year’s Scorecard ranks the Netherlands in first place, removing the UK from top place for the first time since the launch of the Scorecard in 2002. The report reveals that divergences persist in terms of NRAs powers and the application of regulation, clearly concluding that effective regulation delivers better market conditions demonstrates through wider choice, lower prices and higher take-up of services. These opening presentations provided for an interesting discussion at the Cocktail reception that followed in the atrium of the Rèsidence Palace.
The conference continued the following day at the renowned Bibliothèque Solvay. The first panel of the day focussed on “Strategies for achieving Universal coverage”. Ken Ducatel, Head of the European Commission DG Information Society’s Lisbon Strategy and i2010 Unit, chaired a panel that boasted: Silvia-Adriana Ticau MEP, Member of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats Group; Malcolm Harbour MEP, Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee Chairman; Lena Hägglöf, Deputy Director General, Swedish Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications; and Petri Koistenen, DG Information Society’s Principal Legal & Regulatory Administrator for Universal Service. The discussion covered, among other items: the EU Broadband targets; the State Aid Broadband Guidelines; the EU and national broadband strategies; and the Commission consultation on Universal Service.
Ruprecht Niepold, DG Information Society’s Radio Spectrum Policy Adviser then chaired the second panel, which discussed “Convergence and the role of Mobile broadband”. The panellists leading the debate were: Roberto Viola, 2010 RSPG Chairman and Secretary General of AGCOM; Nicolas Curien, ARCEP Commissioner; Dr Alexander Zuser, Director for Regulatory & European Affairs, Telekom Austria Group; Jan Trionow, CTO, Hutchison 3G Austria GmbH and Gavin Johns, CEO, Epitiro Ltd. The panel discussion highlighted issues, including: the best methods of spectrum allocation; conditions for spectrum licensing; discrepancies between advertised and delivered broadband speeds; and the respective capabilities of fixed and mobile networks.
After lunch, the final panel “Regulating NGA: current approaches and market outcomes” tackled the question of how to best incentivise investments in NGA networks. The discussion on this topical subject matter was chaired by Reinald Krüger, Head of DG Information Society’s Procedures related to National Regulatory Measures Unit. He led panellists: John Doherty, 2010 BEREC Chair and ComReg Commissioner; Dr Karl-Heinz Neumann, Director and General Manager, WIK Consult Gmb; Bruno Soria, Director for Regulatory Services, Corporate Regulatory Affairs, Telefónica; Richard Feasey, Public Policy Director, Vodafone; and Ilsa Godlovitch, Director, ECTA; in a very engaging debate. John Doherty presented BEREC’s opinion on the Commission’s Draft NGA Recommendation. The panel discussion covered specific details of the Recommendation such as, pricing flexibility and the geographical segmentation of remedies, as well as broader questions such as how to best migrate from copper to fibre networks and the case for a more radical approach to next generation networks.
The conference was drawn to a close by ECTA’s Chairman, Hubertus von Roenne.
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