Prysmian Group and the Italian Permanent Representation to the EU today co-hosted a meeting with Ambassadors, Commission officials, the European Investment Bank and telecoms industry representatives, to discuss the EU’s ambitions for its telecoms networks at a crucial moment in the legislative process.
With the Parliament poised to finalise its negotiating position on the telecoms reform, and the Council not far behind, the Italian Deputy Permanent Representative, Giovanni Pugliese, was joined by his counterparts from Portugal, Denmark, Romania, Croatia, Hungary, and Finland. Discussion centred on the need to build on the Commission’s vision for a connected society, and how to move from vision to implementation at the Member State and regional level.
Ambassador Pugliese commented: “In Italy and other Member States we have seen steadily climbing demand for both mobile data and fixed ultra broadband internet access. We are addressing this demand with specific instruments to develop future-proof networks starting from market failure areas. We need a European framework that will sustain the investment conditions that allow the expansion of the underlying telecom networks to match future demand”.
A key issue being discussed in both the European Parliament and Council is what constitutes a very high capacity network. The more ambitious members of both institutions are pushing for a more stringent definition that emphasises the role of fibre, and will ensure that the networks matching this standard are truly future-proof. As pointed out during the lunch-debate, the advantage of optical fibre in this regard is not only that it is able to out-perform other technologies in terms of download speed, but also on other key measures including latency, reliability and upload speed.
With talk focussed on the European vision, Philippe Vanhille, Senior Vice President Telecom Business at Prysmian Group, drew attention back to the need to ensure this vision was endorsed by Member States also: “Member States are due to update or renew their national broadband plans. We expect to see an appropriate level of ambition in these plans, with targets in terms of coverage and connectivity that will place Europe in the position to become a global digital leader. We also hope that decision makers will optimize Capex and Opex by choosing the best solutions, building robust and future-proof infrastructures”.