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EC has a new plan to cut broadband costs: Less roadworks

Rollouts will roll over nations like a bureaucratic broadband blanket
Tue Mar 26 2013, 16:32
Roadworks sign in the road

THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION (EC) has a proposal to cut the cost of rolling out high speed broadband internet, and that is for all parties concerned to cooperate and collaborate.

The idea is that less digging of the roads will make for cheaper broadband infrastructure, and the proposition is that rollouts coincide with civil engineering work, not around or after it.

"In most places, today's rules hurt Europe's competitiveness," said European Commission VP Neelie Kroes.

"Everyone deserves fast broadband. I want to burn the red tape that is stopping us [from] getting there. The European Commission wants to make it quicker and cheaper to get that broadband."

This is backed by a draft regulation that will, if approved, roll over member states like a bureaucratic broadband blanket.

The commission has what it calls four main problem areas. These start with the proposition that "new or renovated buildings" must be high speed broadband ready.

Things get a little trickier after that and rely on internet firms working with other companies in other industries. "Opening access to infrastructure on fair and reasonable terms and conditions, including price, to existing ducts, conduits, manholes, cabinets, poles, masts, antennae installations, towers and other supporting constructions," says the EC.

The next problem area mirrors this, and the EC calls for the end of the "insufficient coordination of civil works". It says that "any network operator should be able to negotiate agreements with other infrastructure providers", about when and where things should happen.

The next stage is to speed things up, and that involves the simplification of permit granting for masts and antennas. The EC said that all requests will be either approved or denied within six months, and that they will be made to and through one organisation. µ


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