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Oettinger outlines digital priorities at ANGA COM

Gunther Oettinger

Gunther Oettinger

Gunther Oettinger used his keynote speech at the ANGA COM event in Cologne this morning to call for spectrum harmonisation and accessibility of online services across national boundaries.

However, the EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda stopped short of expressing a position on copyright reform, which is subject to a review by the Commission this autumn.

Oettinger said that the rollout of high-speed mobile networks in Europe has been extremely slow to date.

“Connectivity must be across boundaries,” he said. “I appeal to states to support our spectrum policy at European level. If things are not harmonised they will be irrelevant.”

Oettinger said that the EC would look at copyright in the autumn with a view to strengthening the digital single market. He said that the Commission need the advice of the industry in setting out its objectives.

Oettinger also said that structural investment programmes would support investment in telecom networks. Funding broadband investment at national level is still “chaotic”, he said.

Hundreds of millions of euros would be required to create the networks to support the explosion in demand for connectivity, according to Oettinger.

He said that fair competition meant that online services should be accessible across borders, and added that regulators were looking into whether vectoring – the noise cancellation technology that can increase broadband speeds over existing copper networks – would be positive. Vectoring would be “a good technology” provided it doesn’t prevent competition or hinder investment in fibre, he said.

“The Gigabit society is not a faraway vision but a reality for the next decade. The value of land will be determined by whether it is online or offline…by connectivity.”