The proposal sends an important signal that the policy and regulatory landscape is shifting towards prioritising fibre investments. Focusing on infrastructure based competition and regulatory tools that enable it, such as duct access is the right policy choice to drive fibre investment. The FTTH Council Europe pledges to review the proposed text and to work with legislators to provide information, support and advice as deliberations on the legislation begins.
The FTTH Council Europe believes that building a Gigabit Society is the right ambition in the fast moving, globalised digital age. Very High Capacity connectivity - implying fibre-based networks - is the backbone of the digital era and indispensable for every citizen and business in order to participate and compete in an all-connected world. Fibre is the only future-proof infrastructure capable of supplying guaranteed bandwidths of 1Gigabit for both downstream and upstream and will be essential for enabling the 5G evolution.
“We welcome the streamlined focus on competitive, private fibre investment where commercially possible and the solutions proposed for building a single fibre network also in rural areas.” said Erzsebet Fitori, Director General of the FTTH Council Europe.
“Fibre is the new electricity and there should be nobody left behind. Stressing the geographical dimension and trying to prevent a new ‘Gigabit divide’ is a crucial change. The prioritisation of access to civil engineering assets - which, if newly built might represent up to 80% of the rollout costs - should allow Member States to build on recent measures to reduce costs and extend the reach of future proof fibre networks to many more of their citizens. FTTH networks can greatly enhance public service delivery as well as boost local businesses’ productivity”.
Regulation is a priority theme for the Council this year, and will be discussed at the FTTH Conference in Marseille, France, from 14 to 20 February 2016.