As of 1st July there will be a new Directorate within the EU framework to handle all aspects of communications networks, content and technology across the EU. The explicit goal being to drive the whole EU towards meeting the EU 2020 targets.
The Director General of DG Connect is Robert Madelin who has been interviewed by viEUws - the independent EU policy broadcaster where he talks about some of the challenges in pushing next generation networks out across the EU.
"I believe that its true that vibrant competition, in the market is an insufficient condition for investments, but that doesn't mean you should throw away vibrant competiton and hope investment will come...
We will be making propositions on how copper network costing and new generation investment inter-relate but there again won't be a black and white solution."Robert Madelin, Director General of DG Connect
The views expressed are a reasonable summary of the EU position that was discussed at the Digital Assembly 2012 event, which had various workshops looking at areas like connectivity and e-commerce. The timescale for the EU 2020 targets may seem a long way away, but as take-up is a key component, actual network construction needs to start in the next year or two. Proposals to change how the funding process works, i.e. not follow the UK BDUK model, offers potential for new altnets to arise that target those living and working outside the largest towns and cities.
For those that did not attend Digital Assembly 2012, the webcasts should be available for viewing shortly on webcast.ec.europa.eu/eutv/portal, we also have a blog entry covering the two days in more detail.