EC overhauls EU telecoms rules to accelerate Gigabit, 5G, Wi-Fi access

Strasbourg, France —

The European Commission (EC) yesterday proposed an overhaul of EU telecoms rules with an action plan to meet the growing connectivity needs of European citizens and businesses.

These proposals are expected to encourage investment in very high-capacity networks and accelerate public access to Wi-Fi for Europeans.

“We need to be connected. Our economy needs it. People need it. And we have to invest in that connectivity now,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said during his 2016 State of the Union address before the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

The Commission yesterday put forward three strategic connectivity objectives for 2025:

  1. All main socio-economic drivers, such as schools, universities, research centres, transport hubs, all providers of public services such as hospitals and administrations, and enterprises relying on digital technologies, should have access to extremely high – gigabit – connectivity (allowing users to download/upload 1 gigabit of data per second).
  2. All European households, rural or urban, should have access to connectivity offering a download speed of at least 100 Mbps, which can be upgraded to Gbps.
  3. All urban areas as well as major roads and railways should have uninterrupted 5G coverage, the fifth generation of wireless communication systems. As an interim target, 5G should be commercially available in at least one major city in each EU Member State by 2020.