Ambition required: pushing for faster internet

This week we tabled our amendments to the proposal for a regulation on the guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks

Basically, we push to encourage the generalisation of the fastest internet speed. I mentionned in my previous blog the European digital agenda targets: 30 Mbps all over the EU territory and 100Mbps in 50% of the EU territory. The 30 Mbps target has been conceived because they are EU regions with very poor or no connexions at all. And you can consider that 30 Mbps is better than nothing, which is true, of course! But looking back it seems an akward formulation.  Because there is the risk that it would increase the digital divide by categorising or "institutionnalising" two kinds of regions by 2020 : the one with 30 Mbps or above and the ones with 100 Mbps or above. We should not forget that we talk about the targets to be reached by 2020, not today. We are annoyed by the risk that in so-called rural or remote areas, an automatic 30 Mbps will be targeted without considering the possibilties to reach 100 Mbps directly. We think it's more appropriate to target the maximum around or towards 100 Mbps everywhere with the condition that the costs are reasonable.  Everyone should tend to the best, and the appplicants  have to prove that their projects deserve the EU support because they propose and demonstrate that they plan to install the best capacities, the most secure infrastructures, at a "reasonnable price".  It is not only possible but also financially interesting both for public and private actors to go from very low capacity and invest in FTTH for 100 Mbps all over a "white" area, like we saw in previously given exemples such as SIEEA. This "emulation" towards the best as I guideline to orientate the shaping of eligible projects is lacking in the European Commission proposal and this it what we propose to add. For exemple, we don't want the EU public money supporting the generalisation of wireless LTE technologies that can be financed by private money alone already, and that in terms of capacity, or network resilience, have clearly not the same advantages than the fibre.  Also, wireless networks could suffer from the saturation of the radio spectrum licensing possibilities (more and more operators are asking for more, higher, and less available frequency bandth). If we invest public money it should be for the best...

We also propose to delete from the original text from the Commission the support to projects that aim at fighting child pornography online. We do not see the link between financing filtering or blocking technologies and boosting the internet connexion speeds all over the EU. The Commission says its a mattter of internet safety. But again, there is no link between the two.  Internet safety is a matter of information security and network resilience, not website blocking!


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