A new proposal from national governments, obtained by EURACTIV.com, includes changes to the European Commission’s plans to encourage telecoms operators to invest in building networks. The EU executive added the new rules on “co-investment” to the telecom overhaul it proposed last September.
The changes shake up a major part of the Commission’s proposal: how the rules could push telecoms operators to invest more in very high speed networks. Building those higher speed internet connections would require a cash injection of €500 billion over the next decade, according to the Commission’s own estimates.
Member states previously softened that part of the draft bill but have now changed their proposal back to match the Commission’s original plan. National telecoms regulators will be required to give operators a break and regulate them more lightly if they agree to invest in shared networks with their competitors. Berec, the body of national telecoms regulators, argued recently that the new requirement for them to regulate less would be an “unwarranted limitation” of their freedom.__________________________
But the process for agreeing those investment deals is different under the new proposal, which was drafted by the six-month, rotating presidency of the Council of the EU, currently held by Malta.