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EU’s Connectivity Package Aims to Revamp Telecoms Market

 |  February 21, 2024

The European Commission unveiled plans on Wednesday that could potentially reshape the landscape of telecommunications and technology regulation across the bloc. The Commission’s proposal, dubbed the Connectivity Package, aims to address various challenges, including managing radio spectrum, extending regulations to Big Tech firms, and fostering a more conducive environment for telecoms operators.

Under the proposed measures, the European Commission is considering a more coordinated approach to managing radio spectrum, a critical resource for telecommunications infrastructure. By streamlining authorization procedures and enhancing governance at the Union level, the Commission aims to facilitate the deployment of 5G networks and broadband services. These efforts are deemed crucial as the EU estimates a staggering need for over 200 billion euros to achieve widespread connectivity across its 27 member states.

One of the key aspects of the proposed package is the inclusion of Big Tech companies within the regulatory framework. By broadening existing rules, the Commission seeks to ensure a level playing field between traditional telecoms operators and tech giants. This move underscores the Commission’s commitment to fostering fair competition and preventing market distortion in the rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Read more: EU’s Breton Says They Are Being Fair Between Big Telecoms & Big Tech

In a statement, the Commission invited stakeholders to provide feedback on the proposals by June 30, indicating a collaborative approach to shaping the future of telecommunications policy in the EU. The consultation process reflects the Commission’s commitment to transparency and inclusivity in policymaking.

Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s antitrust chief, emphasized that the Connectivity Package could also facilitate consolidation within the telecoms sector. Addressing concerns raised by companies regarding merger rules, Vestager clarified that competition policy does not inherently impede cross-border consolidation. Instead, she pointed to regulatory complexities as potential deterrents to such mergers. According to Reuters, by addressing regulatory hurdles and harmonizing policies, the Commission aims to create a more conducive environment for strategic mergers and acquisitions in the telecoms industry.

The proposed overhaul signifies a bold step towards fostering innovation, competition, and investment in Europe’s digital infrastructure. If implemented, the Connectivity Package has the potential to reshape the telecoms landscape, accelerate the deployment of advanced technologies, and drive economic growth across the European Union.

Source: Reuters