Maximizing fibre infrastructure investment in Europe

Municipalities and regions key players for broadband rollout?

Stockholm in focus and a role model for high-speed broadband. This when the issue about how to maximizing fibre infrastructure investment in Europe were discussed at a seminar in Brussels.

On November 19 SALAR (Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions) and Stokab arranged an event in Brussels on how municipalities can contribute to the role out of fibre infrastructure. The seminar focused on the challenge taken-on by the European Commission to increase the role-out of fibre infrastructure.

The Commission was clear about the fact that there are not sufficient funds on the European level to achieve a competitive role-out; therefore initiatives must be taken on the local level by both public and private entities.

The Commission is now focusing its regulatory efforts on how to foster this development. The seminar ended in an open discussion on what sustainable business models can be achieved in an ever more regulated "telecom landscape".

Ulla Hamilton


Mrs. Ulla Hamilton, member of the Committee for Growth and Regional Development at Swedish Association of Local Authorities. She pointed out that a connected society offers stronger regional development, increased growth and sustainability. Access to superfast communication is today a pivotal for municipalities and regions possibilities to grow and develop. She stressed that it is not an issue only for the telecom sector, it is an issue for the society as a whole and thereby a responsibility for the EU, the member states, regions and municipalities. Mrs. Hamilton views dark fibre as any necessary utility provided by the city, like water and electricity.

Hervé Dupuy


Mr. Hervé Dupuy, deputy head of unit DG CONNECT, spoke on the difficulties the Commission is facing in promoting broadband deployment and at the same time being the competition watchdog on equal access to infrastructure. The conclusion of Mr. Dupuys speech was that the Commission is now in a process of evaluating its measures and more over its focus in telecom regulatory efforts taking into account the need for a rapid deployment of high speed internet capacity on a much larger scale that is the case today.

Gunnar Hökmark


Mr. Gunnar Hökmark MEP and Vice-president of the EPP, spoke on the need for the EU to sets its sights high. Not planning for the needs of today but for tomorrow. He is promoting the 1 Gbit vision, and stressed the need for high capacity broadband to foster the Googles and the Facebooks of tomorrow.

See the speach in new window at Youtube


Questions with Mr. Herve Dupuy and Mr. Gunnar Hökmark.

See in new window at Youtube

Crister Mattsson


Mr. Crister Mattsson, Senior Advisor, Acreo spoke on the report Acreo has made for the European Commission; "A guide to broadband investment". He stressed the fact that open networks are promoting investment in fibre infrastructure and highlighted the success of the Stokab example. But also pointed to the difficulties it is to really achieve available fibre infrastructure in scarcely populated areas.

Christopher Mitchell


Mr. Christopher Mitchell, Director, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, gave an overview of the situation in the US. He described the difficulties of getting high capacity broadband, even in big cities like New York. The emergence of initiatives like Google fibre was in fact a response to the lack of high capacity infrastructure than a venture driven by the business in it self.

Benoit Felten


Mr. Benoit Felten, Chief Research Officer, Diffraction Analysis, He described the infrastructural conditions for achieving a Smart City. He pointed out the importance of two principles; infrastructure needs to be available both on a passive basis and be separated from commercial operations. Furthermore he gave an overview of the Stokab model. He highlighted the benefits of the model and discussed what would be necessary to launch such a model today.

Jonas Malmlund


Mr. Jonas Malmlund, Partner, Deloitte, discussed the hazards of regulation and presented a study from Deloitte on the effects of willingness to invest and how one can foster the investment in broadband infrastructure. He concluded that the municipal model, i.e. non vertically integrated operators providing open and neutral access to fibre networks is of key importance and interest for any country or region striving to meet ambitious broadband targets and drive innovation and competition.


Panel discussion

The seminar was concluded with a panel discussion that focused on regulation and its effect on the willingness to invest in infrastructure. In essence the difficulties of achieving a business-model taking regulatory constraints as price regulation and state aid into account. See the panel discussion in new window at Youtube


See the whole seminar

Webseminar Brussels

The seminar was concluded with a panel discussion that focused on regulation and its effect on the willingness to invest in infrastructure. In essence the difficulties of achieving a business-model taking regulatory constraints as price regulation and state aid into account. See the whole seminar (open in seperate window).

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Susanne Lekengård

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