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IN : EU Digital Decade

European Commission releases results of the consultation on the future of electronic communications

The full results, which captures the feedback from hundreds of respondents, have now been published.

The Commission says that aim of the exploratory consultation was to gather data and views on the technological and market developments, measures regarding fairness for consumers, barriers to the Single Market and the question regarding a fair contribution by all digital players benefitting from the digital transformation.

The Consultation was first launched on February 23rd and was open until the 19th of May. Nearly a dozen different types of stakeholders have submitted their views including telecom providers, broadcasters, cloud service providers and platforms, business associations, consumer organisations, citizens, non-governmental organisations, public authorities, trade unions and academics.

The Commission has summarized what it sees as the three main takeaways from the responses. These are as follows:

  • Takeaway 1 – We need innovation and efficient investment: The responses indicate that new technologies such as network virtualisation, edge cloud, artificial intelligence and open networks will have a significant impact on the electronic communications sector. Respondents consider that public funding is crucial to foster investments and enable these technologies. Yet, views diverge on whether it will suffice to bridge the gap, and how to attract more private capital. 
  • Takeaway 2 – We need to leverage the Single Market to boost investment and innovation: Respondents consider that exploiting economies of scale in the EU Single Market and leveraging full access to 450 million European customers, would be key to overcoming investment difficulties. Furthermore, they suggest EU-wide regulatory streamlining and simplification can slash administrative costs and speed up infrastructure deployment. Furthermore, replies from telecom providers, platforms, business and consumer organisations indicate that a more harmonised approach to spectrum management would unlock larger market potential, making it easier to deploy cross-border services and driving investment and innovation.
  • Takeaway 3 – We need to secure our networks:  The Commission should ensure full control over its decision-making processes in strategic sectors, such as connectivity, and avoid harmful external interference in our EU connectivity infrastructure.

The full summary report of the consultation responses can be found here.

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