Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on measures to reduce the cost of deploying high-speed electronic communications networks

Author (Corporate)
Series Title
Series Details (2013) 147 final (26.3.13)
Publication Date 26/03/2013
Content Type

The objectives of the proposed Regulation are to reduce the cost and enhance the efficiency of deploying high-speed electronic communications infrastructure by scaling up existing best practices across the EU, thus improving the conditions for the establishment and functioning of the internal market in an area supporting the development of virtually all sectors of the economy.

In fact it is widely agreed that civil engineering works constitute the dominant part in overall network deployment costs, regardless of the technology used, with estimates as high as 80% for certain technologies.

Providing a number of directly applicable rights and obligations applicable across the various steps of infrastructure deployment can lead to significant cost reductions. Barriers to investment and market entry can be lowered by allowing for more intensive usage of existing physical infrastructures, enhanced cooperation on planned civil works, streamlining permit granting procedures and by removing obstacles to high-speed-ready in-building infrastructure.

This initiative therefore addresses four main problem areas: (1) inefficiencies or bottlenecks concerning the use of existing physical infrastructure (such as, for example, ducts, conduits, manholes, cabinets, poles, masts, antennae, towers and other supporting constructions), (2) bottlenecks related to co-deployment, (3) inefficiencies regarding administrative permit granting, and, finally (4) bottlenecks concerning in-building deployment.

As each problem area is linked to a specific step in the rollout process, tackling these problems areas together will result in a set of coherent and mutually reinforcing actions. A study estimates that if measures were taken to address the identified set of problem areas, the potential Capex savings to operators are in the range of 20–30% of total investment costs, i.e. up to €63 billion by 2020.

In order to maximise synergies across networks, the Regulation is addressed not only to electronic communications network providers but to any owner of physical infrastructures, such as electricity, gas, water and sewage, heating and transport services, suitable to host electronic communications network elements.

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Related Links
EUR-Lex: COM(2013)147: Follow the progress of this proposal through the decision-making procedure
EUR-Lex: SWD(2013)73: Impact assessment
EUR-Lex: SWD(2013)74: Executive summary of the impact assessment
ESO: Background information: Less digging = cheaper broadband. Commission proposes rules to cut broadband installation costs

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