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Full reports on the results of the two Digital Single Market public consultations on telecoms regulation and on the future needs for Internet speed and quality

The Commission has published full reports on the results of two DSM public consultations on the review of the telecoms regulatory framework and on the future needs for Internet speed and quality. The views of both consumers and companies converge on the increasingly important role of high speed and high quality internet access as a precondition for a successful digital economy. User experience and expectations show that broadband connectivity encompasses issues of speed, coverage and quality. The results also demonstrate that the seamless provision of digital end-to-end services is increasingly important for many sectors. Overall, the analysis confirms the preliminary trends, namely that the use of internet services and applications is expected to increase dramatically by 2025 and that policy measures are thought to be required to support the development of infrastructure in line with the respondents’ perceived future needs. Regarding the need for Internet speed and quality, a number of further trends can be observed:

  • A majority of respondents think they will need Gigabit and low latency, fixed connectivity by 2025.
  • The dynamics and patterns of mobile connectivity use make the speed of data flow and quality of features increasingly important;
  • There is a high correlation between respondents who are dissatisfied and pessimistic about current and/or anticipated future network provision and those that reside in rural areas;
  • Organisations expect more from the future use of the Internet than do individuals.

The telecoms consultation sought views on topics such as the use of  EU rules to incentivise network rollout, efficient spectrum management, the role of universal service rules, the content and scope of regulation of communications services, and institutional & governance issues. According to the detailed report released today, respondents felt that competition law principles and market power tests should continue to underpin the EU’s regulation in this field. Ubiquitous connectivity relies on a competitive environment, giving sufficient space to competition to invest. The increasing role of wireless connectivity elicited views regarding predictable and coordinated spectrum management – which is seen by many as crucial in boosting digital network and services rollout, not least for facilitating and translating 5G into a success story. The telecoms consultation also notes that end-user specific regulation should take into account market and technological developments. The need for policy adjustment is widely recognised in order to improve connectivity and advance the internal market. Building on today’s results of the public consultations, the Commission will propose a revised EU telecoms framework in the course of the year. European Commission, Digital Single Market 28 aprile 2016

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