The European Union considers broadband of essential importance. Below more information on policies, including the one on MuniFiber projects.
European municipalities lead FTTH charge
According to a recent KMI Research (www.kmiresearch.com) report, FTTH deployments will compose 65% of Europeís fiber-optic market in 2010, with fiber-to-the-node, -building, or -basement (FTTN/B) composing the remaining 35%. However, unlike in the U.S. where the incumbent Verizon is leading the FTTH charge, the technology is experiencing greater traction among the European municipalities and municipal utilities, particularly in the Nordic and Benelux regions.
Full text available through the links below:
EU policy on muni fiber
In april 2005 the EU Directorate General for Competition (ECDGC)published its sping Competition Policy Newsletter. This edition contains an article on government investments in broadband. The authors of this article Hencsey, Reymond, Riedl, Santamato and Westhof, who all work for ECDGC, give an overview of the possibilities.
- The most direct and transparent option is when a government body invests like a Market Investor. In that case there is no State Aid. The best possible proof of the Market Economy Investor Principle (MEIP)is delivered when private parties invest on similar conditions.
- The second option is when a government would decide to build the passive infrastructure which is made available to all operators on non-discriminatory terms. According to the authors under those circumstances it is highly unlikely that this will be considered as State Aid. (Note: there is no case submitted yet to the European Commission so there is no decision published).
Furthermore, the article pays a lot of attention to the situation that a government invests in delivering services to the general public of general economic interest. This situation is not applicable to the setup of Citynet.
The authors specifically indicate that many of the main policies and procedures that Citynet applies (transparency, open network for services, open tender procedures etc) are necessary and deemed positive.
Summary and full text available through the links below:
De Europese Unie hecht groot belang aan een concurrerende en innovatieve economie, mede op basis van breedband en verstandige inzet van ICT.
In de verklaringen van Lissabon en Barcelona heeft de Europese Ministerraad besloten dat breedband voor Europa van kardinaal belang is. De lidstaten zijn opgeroepen om er voor te zorgen dat breedband alle kansen krijgt en actief wordt bevorderd.
Residential Fiber Slowly Becomes a Reality in Western Europe: Part 1
Residential Fiber Slowly Becomes a Reality in Western Europe, Part 2