European Commission proposes new rules to make broadband installation 30 percent cheaper

European Commission proposes new rules to make broadband installation 30 percent cheaper

The European Commission is proposing a new set of regulations that could reduce the cost of rolling out high-speed Internet by up to 30 percent.

The ruling would mean that all newly constructed buildings are equipped with a “high-speed-ready” infrastructure, right up until the network termination points. The same would apply for any buildings undergoing major renovation works.

Providers of public communication networks would also have access to any existing in-building infrastructure, to avoid any duplication and identify where such an installation is impossible or “economically inefficient.”

Similarly, network operators would be obligated to meet any request, submitted by another company, for access to its physical infrastructure, including the price associated with deploying a high-speed network.

Operators who refuse to supply such information would need to give a suitable justification within one month of the request. If an agreement on price cannot be reached within two months of the request, either party would then be entitled to refer the problem to a national dispute settlement body.

Companies that are given permission by a network operators would have easy access to all aspects of the existing physical infrastructure, including the location, route and geo-reference co-ordinates, the size, type and current use of the infrastructure.

In addition, any public sector body holding information related to these details will be obligated to hand them over to the enquiring company.

These requests can also include any information related to granting permits for civil engineering works needed to deploy a high-speed network, including an exemptions available under national law.

“Everyone deserves fast broadband,” Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission said. “I want to burn the red tape that is stopping us for getting there. The European Commission wants to make it quicker and cheaper to get that broadband.”

The proposed measures, if approved, would form part of a 10 point plan designed to give European citizens and businesses access to Internet of at least 30 Mbps. In addition, the Commission wants at least half of all European households to be subscribed to Internet connections above 100 Mbps by 2020.

Image Credit: ALEXANDER KLEIN/AFP/GettyImages

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