These evolutions involve many industrial branches, but there is one crucial technology enabling all these fast progresses: optical fibre networks. In the long run, with data traffic exponentially growing, fibre will be the only technology able to support this flow with the appropriate speed and reliability. Because even a wireless connection needs the support of physical information networks to work. Considering the widespread demand for fast, reliable, high-capacity internet, one of the main tasks of the next years will be to make countries and global infrastructures ready to support this goal.
Thus, the question is: is Europe ready to drive – instead of following – this transformation?
At the present time, fixed broadband is available to 98% of Europeans, and 76% of European homes can access high-speed broadband (at least 30 Mbps). 4G mobile networks cover on average 84% of the EU’s population. Moreover, 74% of European homes subscribe to fixed broadband, and over one third of these connections are high-speed. The number of high-speed connections went up by 74% since 2014.
Significant numbers, which show that Europe has created a solid basis for the current demands, but not sufficient to sustain the expected development in the years to come. If the Union wants to be leader in the incoming digital revolution, we will need large-scale and sustained investments.
That is the reason why last 11th May Prysmian Group co-hosted, together with the Italian Permanent Representation to the EU, a meeting of national Ambassadors, telecoms industry representatives, financiers, Commission officials and MEPs to discuss the EU’s ambitions for its telecoms networks at a crucial moment in the legislative process. On that occasion Philippe Vanhille, Senior Vice President Telecom Business at Prysmian Group, expressed our hope “to see an appropriate level of ambition in these plans by the Member States, with targets in terms of coverage and connectivity that will place Europe in the position to become a global digital leader”.