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Europe Aims to Cut Superfast Broadband Rollout Costs by 25%

Friday, Apr 27th, 2012 (12:08 pm) - Score 873

The European Commission (EC) has today opened a new consultation that aims to cut the costs of broadband investment by 25% and thus make it cheaper to deploy new networks for “high speed internet” in the EU. Priority will be given to reducing the costs associated with civil engineering (i.e. digging up roads to lay fibre optic cable), which can account for up to 80% of the total cost.

The consultation is part of Europe’s wider Digital Agenda, which aims to ensure that everybody in Europe has access to superfast broadband speeds of 30Mbps+, with 50% or more EU households subscribing to speeds above 100Mbps, by 2020.

Neelie Kroes, EC Vice President, said:

We need to cut the engineering costs of rolling-out broadband networks if we want to spread faster broadband across Europe. We need to test practical ideas on how to cut costs and how to make it easier to access, re-use and share this infrastructure. There is nothing more annoying for citizens than road-digging, and nothing more annoying to businesses than pointless red tape.”

Kroes points toward several key areas that could help to bring costs down including better coordination of civil engineering projects, insufficient re-use of existing infrastructure, lack of cooperation between the various actors (e.g. utility firms often have their own infrastructure and dig up roads without coordinating with telecoms firms) and cumbersome procedures for clearing rights of way.

The public consultation runs until 20th July 2012, although we’re a little surprised that it’s taken the EU this long to consult on the issue. In the UK Ofcom has already done some work on this but there’s certainly room for improvement, not least with road work taxation.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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