ETNO warns that current investment levels could jeopardise the roll out of full fibre broadband and 5G mobile services across Europe


The European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO) has expressed its "deep concern" over the current state of Europe’s telecoms laws and the finalisation of the Electronic Communications Code (ECC).

The ECC was originally conceived of to encourage and facilitate the large-scale investments necessary to drive innovation in the telecoms sector. However, in a recent statement to the press, ETNO said that despite $29.2 billion of investment per year, not enough was being done.

"Unfortunately, there are no signals that the Code will deliver on its original ambition and support the investments required. On the contrary, there has been little progress on vital measures to facilitate 5G roll-out with stronger spectrum governance and longer license duration. The Code also falls short of supporting successful fibre investment models, which require strong incentives for co-investment and commercial agreements alike. Similarly, the Code fails to provide more space for innovation and consistent standards of consumer protection for equivalent services. What is more, analysts and investors are worried about additional ex-ante regulatory constraints in the field of so-called oligopolies and price regulation, while the European Commission originally proposed more regulatory certainty and better investment conditions," read the statement.

ETNO appealed to European governments and key institutions to up their game on telecoms investment or risk a protracted period of unpredictability and uncertainty.

"We remain keen to continue engaging in the debate and we stand ready to support the European Institutions in restoring the initial spirit of the reform. Europe must not miss this defining opportunity to lead digital transformation and ignite growth," the statement concluded.