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Broadband in Europe is a mess

Staff writer |
European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes has slammed the "regulatory mess" affecting broadband in a warm up to forthcoming proposals to shake up the sector, which will form part of the new Single Market for Telecommunications.

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"Today's guidance to regulators just doesn't give businesses – old or new – the certainty they need to make investments. It's time to change," said Ms. Kroes.

Telecoms companies currently face different charges and regulatory systems depending on which member state they are operating in, making it harder to enter new markets, wries EurActiv. This lack of certainty is one of the reasons Europe's telecoms sector is struggling financially, which is leaving companies less able to invest in upgrading broadband networks, according to the EU executive.

"The effect is that Europe is losing the global race to build fast fixed broadband connections. Concretely: telecoms companies are under-performing, other businesses are losing competitiveness and frustrated consumers are stuck in the internet slow lane," said Ms. Kroes.

Europe's telecoms sector is projected to suffer a 10% revenue dip in the decade from 2006-2016, whilst their US counterpart is projected to grow by 35%, and the Asia-Pacific region will see a 40% rise over the same period.


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