Broadband News

Signs of changes to EU state aid rules

One of the major stumbling blocks for any UK government if it decided to throw money at the telecoms market to ensure that a national Next Generation Access (NGA) infrastructure reached all towns and villages in the UK is the various rules on state aid.

Areas of the UK that satisfy the current rules have seen aid and projects from their relevant Regional Development Agency for example some of the projects by the Scottish Executive and Welsh Assembly. These usually hinge on assessments of whether market forces are failing to operate, which for some parts of counties mean they are passed over as the majority of a county has no problems with regards to choice or quality of broadband services.

The Universal Service Obligation proposed by Lord Carter will need EU approval or law changes, and going by the short comments that have appeared on the NASDAQ website from Europe's top antitrust official to a Dutch parliament committee these changes may be relatively straightforward. The UK government needs to keep a close eye on what other members of the EU are doing, otherwise we may find that other countries are suddenly much more attractive for firms that are reliant on cheap and plentiful broadband.


There is 12 gig going a few miles away, whilst we are stuck on half a meg adsl or no adsl. Government only has to open the door, we need more POPs.
Transit should be available, whereas at the moment in rural areas it isn't, even though lit fibre runs through those areas we can't access it. If we apply for help we are told that market forces will supply it and state aid can't help us because 99.6% of the country already has broadband. Government need to tell the RDAs to release the funding to help communities help themselves.

  • cyberdoyle
  • over 11 years ago

Nice rational comment that points up the commercial and economic risks on the macro scale...If more arguments were made on these lines (rather than..'faster please cos I need gaming/video/faster peer to peer' private citizen pleas)it would help I'm sure..time to involve our MP'S maybe.

  • over 11 years ago

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