Тhe GSM Association (GSMA) and operators of leading European telecom operators have presented a statement to Matteo Renzi, Prime Minister of Italy and President of the Council of the European Union, calling for a new, progressive ICT public policy.
The document outlined a plan to stimulate economic growth and job creation and improve social welfare across Europe. According to the statement, the new policy should help Europe catch up with (and even outdo) other industrial regions in terms of ICT. The meeting was also attended by the European Commission's Vice President Neelie Kroes and prominent industry CEOs.
Every company in Europe depends on the communications industry to do its business. However, as the statement points out, Europe - with a reputation for being a pioneer in the communications industry - is now overshadowed by the US and Asia when it comes to deployment of new communications infrastructure. It is not because of a lack of willingness to invest, the statement says, but rather because of differences in policy frameworks and industry structures. It is exactly such frameworks and structures that continue to be more favourable in other regions, supporting infrastructure investments that play a significant role in economic growth.
The statement suggests that the EU introduce a more simplified, digital-friendly regulatory framework to encourage investment in new digital infrastructure. It also calls for public and private investment to prevent a new digital divide from emerging, and says that the EU should support and promote the ongoing reallocation of radio spectrum to the communications industry. This process will satisfy the need for faster connection speeds and bigger capacity.
A new interpretation and application of Merger Regulation and Guidelines is also among the suggested measures, and so is EU support for a level playing field of regulation between the communications and internet industries.