Global scenario


A new set of proposals by the Commission, welcomed by the FTTH Council Europe, move in the same direction that Prysmian indicated in its call on Brussels to be consistent with its digital ambitions.


Just a few weeks after Prysmian Group called on Brussels to be consistent with its ambitions for a Gigabit Society by supporting the roll-out of optical fibre technologies, the European Commission proposed a set of measures to ensure that everyone in the EU will have the best possible internet connection to participate in the digital society and economy. It is not yet the abandoning of the doctrine of technology neutrality, but these proposals nevertheless encourage investment in very high-capacity networks and accelerate the roll-out of 5G wireless technology and free WiFi access points in public spaces.

Philippe Vanhille, Senior Vice President Telecom Business at Prysmian Group, commented that the company was leading the way in facilitating the progress of the EU debate on connectivity and lending its expertise to the conversation. He said Prysmian believes the Commission has struck the right tone in this proposal which clearly incentivises the provision of the next-generation networks that Europe needs. The Group will continue in its efforts to facilitate the discussions and decision-making, as the proposals progress through the EU institutions.

The proposed set of measures by the Commission to create a Gigabit society by 2025 include, amongst others, the overhaul of telecoms regulations, a 5G action plan and free Wifi access points. In other words, the Commission is building on its existing 2020 broadband targets, by setting out a vision for a European Gigabit society, where availability and take-up of very high-capacity networks enable the widespread use but also development of products, services and applications in the Digital Single Market. Ronan Kelly, president of the FTTH Council Europe, welcomed the Commission’s proposals, saying that the approach showed ‘progressive thinking’ and ‘looks like a big step in the right direction’.

“We welcome the streamlined focus on competitive, private fibre investment where commercially possible, and also the solutions proposed for building a single fibre network in rural areas,” said Erzsebet Fitori, director general of the FTTH Council Europe, adding that, “stressing the geographical dimension and trying to prevent a new Gigabit divide is a crucial change”. The prioritisation of access to civil engineering assets – which, if newly built, might represent up to 80% of the roll-out costs – should allow Member States to build on recent measures to reduce costs and extend the reach of future-proof fibre networks.