Commission proposes new European Electronic Communications Code

The Commission, on 14 September 2016, proposed an ambitious overhaul of EU telecoms rules.

This involves new initiatives to meet the growing connectivity needs of European citizens and boost Europe's competitiveness, as well as encourage investment in very high-capacity networks and accelerate public access to Wi-Fi networks for Europeans.

The package includes a Directive proposal to establish the European Electronic Communications Code, including a set of documents to make it more attractive for all companies to invest in new top-quality infrastructures, everywhere in the EU, both locally and across national borders.

This also includes a proposed Regulation for the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and a Commission Working Document on "Connectivity for a competitive digital single market - Towards a European Gigabit Society".

An action plan was also presented to deploy 5G  across the EU as from 2018 and a Regulation proposal to promote Internet connectivity in local communities and public spaces - WiFi4EU.

To prepare for Europe's digital future, the Commission has today put forward three strategic connectivity objectives for 2025:

  • All main socio-economic drivers - such as schools, universities, research centres, transport hubs, all providers of public services such as hospitals and administrative services, and enterprises relying on digital technologies - should have access to extremely high - gigabit - connectivity (allowing users to download/upload 1 gigabit of data per second);
  • All European households, rural or urban, should have access to connectivity offering a download speed of at least 100 Mbps, which can be upgraded to Gbps;
  • All urban areas as well as major roads and railways should have uninterrupted 5G coverage, the fifth generation of wireless communication systems. As an interim target, 5G should be commercially available in at least one major city in each EU Member State by 2020.

The Commission is counting on the European Parliament and the Council to endorse the ambitious objectives it has presented and to adopt these legislative proposals as soon as possible, so that Europeans can fully benefit from digital opportunities.

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