Digital Single Market: how to get it right

by Matthias Kurth, Executive Chairman of Cable Europe

If the European Commission was aiming for high visibility with the Digital Single Market Strategy, they certainly hit their mark. Before the full text of the document was even published, the topic had been embraced by mainstream media with debate stretching way beyond the infamous Brussels Bubble. Why the leap from specialist to mainstream? Because the digital economy is not about a set of issues which impact only those engaged in telecoms and media policy. It’s quite simply about an economy which is digital. If you live, breathe, work and play in or with Europe, then you’re a stakeholder in the Digital Single Market Strategy.
The Commission’s objective is to be applauded. With a digital single market, consumers will have more choice, and businesses will have a bigger market. An economic and societal win-win.
Broadband operators are the enablers of this strategy: let’s face it – you need great broadband to create a great digital single market. As the saying goes: no broadband, no app. And the surest way to get great broadband infrastructure is to foster a competitive and innovative market. Cable operators are the main challengers and competitors to the incumbent telco operators, stimulating a dynamic and fast moving market where the stakes are high. In fact, half of all European households have the option of connecting to high speed broadband via cable networks. Competition with telco operators has resulted in various investments cycles which Europe can be proud of. And there are more investments to come with cable speeds soon to hit 10 Gpbs for download and 2 Gbps for upload. Doubtless telco incumbents will gradually upgrade their networks too, so we can safely say there’s no cause for alarm when it comes to investment levels in Europe. Only in rural areas, where we have particularly low population density, is there a potential role for state aid.

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Source: Blogactiv

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