Connectivity for a competitive digital single market – towards a European gigabit society

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2016) 587
Publication Date 14/09/2016
Content Type


Communication - published by the European Commission in September 2016 - alongside a set of legislative initiatives aimed at overhauling the European Union's telecoms rules.

Further information:

The Document was published following the understanding that consumers and businesses still faced fragmentation of the electronic communications markets along the national borders, despite the existing regulatory framework. Furthermore, significant changes were taking place within the electronic communications sector since the EU telecoms regulatory framework's last revision in 2009. Patterns of consumption and needs were radically changing.

This Communication - adopted on 14 September 2016 - confirms the importance of Internet connectivity for the Digital Single Market and the need for Europe to deploy now the networks for its digital future. To this end, it sets out a vision for a European Gigabit society, where availability and take-up of very high capacity networks enable the widespread use of products, services and applications in the Digital Single Market. It thus proposes a series of initiatives designed to establish the right conditions for the necessary investments to take place, primarily to be achieved by the market. A set of proposals were published by the Commission alongside the Communication:

The European Parliament adopted on 1 June 2017 an Own-Initiative Report in response to this Communication on a European gigabit society.

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Commentary and Analysis
EBU: Press Release, 14/09/2016: EBU acknowledges positive signal for media diversity and pluralism in EU Telecoms package review
EPRS: At a Glance, May 2017: Internet for growth competitiveness and cohesion: European gigabit society and 5G
EPRS: Briefing, July 2017: Towards a European gigabit society: Connectivity targets and 5G

The Wall Street Journal, 11/09/2016: EU to Get Tough on Chat Apps in Win for Telecoms
Politico, 14/09/2016: Telecoms shaken up in Europe’s bid for growth
EurActiv, 14/09/2016: New telecoms rules mark ‘quiet revolution’ as Commission aims to boost internet speed
BBC News, 14/09/2016: European Commission plans free wi-fi in public spaces
EurActiv, 15/09/2016: Free Wi-Fi in cities? ‘We panicked for five minutes. Then we realised it’s not serious’
EurActiv, 21/10/2016: Commission wants fast internet in schools to fix digital illiteracy problem

EUR-Lex: SWD(2016)300: Commission Staff Working Document accompanying the report
European Commission: Press Release, 14/09/2016: State of the Union 2016: Commission paves the way for more and better internet connectivity for all citizens and businesses
European Commission: Fact Sheet, 14/09/2016: Commission paves the way for more and better internet connectivity for all citizens and businesses
European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Procedure File for Own-Initiative Report on Internet connectivity for growth, competitiveness and cohesion: European gigabit society and 5G

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