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FTTH Council Europe Calls on EU to Maintain Proposed Broadband Funding

Monday, October 8th, 2012 (3:01 pm) - Score 810

The FTTH Council Europe, which campaigns for a future enabled by 100Mbps+ capable Fibre to the Home (FTTH) based fibre optic internet connections, has called on the EU not to shrink its proposed €9.2bn (£7.44bn) commitment to boosting broadband connectivity via the pan-European Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

The council’s comments follow last month’s remarks by the Cypriot Presidency, which questioned whether or not the level of funding should be “reconsidered” after it received “less support [from] Member States than transport and energy” (here).

The money would be used to help Europe achieve it’s Digital Agenda strategy, which aims to make superfast broadband (30Mbps+) services available to 100% of EU people by 2020.

Karin Ahl, President of the FTTH Council Europe, said:

Those Governments that adopt a more holistic view of society and the benefits that spread across the economy will realise the importance of maintaining the CEF for network build. We very much need to build communication networks for the future that look beyond the next quarter’s returns and that can put Europe on the front foot for economic growth and innovation.”

A series of studies conducted by the council recently estimated that the total cost of achieving FTTH in Europe for “more rural areas” would be €73bn and that funding from the CEF would “therefore have a meaningful impact” on those targeted areas. The UK would also benefit from CEF’s funding.

The councils comments also point to a recent OECD study that showed how faster broadband could create savings of 0.5-1.5% in four sectors of the economy (electricity, health, transportation and education), which would allegedly “justify a fully publically financed network“. In reality the situation is a lot more complex than that, especially in terms of how it could impact competition.

Leave a Comment
1 Response
  1. Avatar New_Londoner says:

    I dont often agree with the so-called FTTH Council (kit manufacturers in other words), however i do agree with them on this. As posted on TBB, perhaps the illustrious EU commissioner should try to “re-purpose” some of the common agricultural policy budget into investments like these that might actually stimulate growth, benefit the economy and not just uncompetitive farmers. I’m told nearly half the total EU budget is wasted on farming at present, why not use it for something that is economically productive nstead?

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