fibre optics

EU To Push Telecoms Firms To Boost Fibre Broadband Investment

fibre opticsThe EU wants all 500 million Europeans to have basic broadband by 2013, with half of those with access to 100Mbps broadband by 2020, and they appear prepared to use a stick rather than a carrot on the telecoms firms to get there.

Such major advances in telecoms infrastructure will take massive investment – the European Commission estimates this will require £257bn (€300bn). But European Digital Agenda Commissioner, Neelie Kroes, does not appear to be in the mood to let leading operators rest on their laurels to try to squeeze the last remaining Mbps out of the decades old copper lines and avoid the investment in fibre required. Indeed, she has threatened to cut the earnings of leading operators such as Deutsche Telekom, France Télécom, and BT on their older networks if they do not comply.

Kroes believes that the former state-owned operators like those named above continue to generate huge profits from their copper networks that do not require any investment, which has resulted in their reticence to invest in new er technologies such as fibre optic cable which can push internet connectivity to the next level. The operators have long complained that they require an end to net neutrality to make it worthwhile for them to invest in fibre, but Kroes seems to think that if they see their profits dwindling from copper, that will be enough to push them towards progress.

This may be difficult news to hear for the operators but is great news for consumers and digital businesses alike as competition in the fibre arena should push down prices and up speeds – always welcome changes.

[via The Guardian]

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