ECTA CEOs meet with VP Andrus ANSIP - 16/02/15
The true story of European broadband investments: if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it
Brussels, 16 February 2015: Today a delegation of CEOs from key member companies of the European Competitive Telecoms Association (ECTA) met with the European Commission’s Vice-President Andrus Ansip to share their vision of the connected Digital Single Market, the state of play and the steps that might be necessary for the completion of it, including at a later stage the review of the telecoms framework.
The delegation of ECTA CEOs was representative of various Member States: France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and the Netherlands, aiming at providing Vice-President Ansip with a broad overview of challenger investments and innovation in Europe. On this basis, the questions of the relationship between competition, regulation and investments, as well as the EU's global competitiveness were discussed.
Erzsébet Fitori, Director of ECTA underlined that "the negative mantra of the past two years that Europe is behind on broadband network investments simply does not hold. We have to snap out of it and have a fresh look at the figures and what is ahead. Investments are actually happening in European high speed infrastructure. Now. The discussion should be about the future and the bottlenecks of the future. As it stands lagging behind on broadband is not in the cards for Europe for the coming years. This is not the problem that needs fixing.”
Whilst Europe is discussing the problems of the past and deregulation as a fix taking the example of the US, the deregulated markets like the US or New Zealand recognise that the lack of competition in their markets resulted in severe market failures and are now struggling to re-introduce competition. Having the President of the United States say that there is a clear lack of choice for American consumers in fixed broadband should surely make European policy makers think carefully about regulatory choices.
Europe has a winning regulatory formula that took more than 15 years to put into place. Sure, regulation needs to be adapted to address the challenges of the future, but the best way to explore our digital future is competition. And European consumers, citizens and businesses want more competition, not less. In order to have a globally competitive Digital Single Market, now is the time for the Commission to stand up for competition again.
Hubertus von Roenne, Chairman of ECTA emphasised that "alternative operators have invested considerably in broadband infrastructure in recent years and are still investing today. But challenger investments depend on access to enduring bottlenecks (the part of the networks which can’t be duplicated) and pro-competitive access to spectrum. Innovative business communications solutions across Europe depend on ubiquitous business grade wholesale inputs. Hence, competition and alternative operator investments crucially depend on a level playing field underpinned by a reliable and robust regulatory framework, which enables all players – big and small – to innovate, compete and invest. ”
The delegation of ECTA CEOs was composed of:
Jørgen Bang-Jensen, CEO, Play (PL)
Alex Goldblum, CEO, Eurofiber (NL)
Peter Grueter, CFO, Fastweb (IT)
Maxime Lombardini, CEO, Iliad (FR)
Norbert Westfal, President, BREKO, Managing Director EWE TEL (DE)
David Zimmer, Vice-President, VATM, CEO, inexio (DE)
Picture: @Ansip_EU Andrus Ansip/Twitter
ECTA (the European Competitive Telecommunications Association - www.ectaportal.com) is the pan-European pro-competitive trade association that represents more than 100 of the leading challenger telecoms operators across Europe. For over a decade, ECTA has been supporting the regulatory and commercial interests of telecoms operators, ISPs & equipment manufacturers in pursuit of a fair regulatory environment that allows all electronic communications providers to compete on level terms. Our members have been the leading innovators in Internet services, broadband, business communications, entertainment and mobile.
Aurélie Bladocha, Public Affairs Manager (+32 2 478 78 61 00 / firstname.lastname@example.org)