Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

The achievement of digitalisation in the EU and its reliance on gigabit connectivity

Cave, Martin (2023) The achievement of digitalisation in the EU and its reliance on gigabit connectivity. Telecommunications Policy, 47 (9). ISSN 0308-5961

Full text not available from this repository.

Identification Number: 10.1016/j.telpol.2023.102592


A major component of the EU's digitalisation strategy is its targets for universal gigabit connectivity, based on either fixed (mainly FTTH) or mobile (5G) technologies. In order to achieve its objectives, such an ambitious strategy must achieve a fusion of the digital and the physical activities in all sectors of the economy (public and private); in this task, achieving the policy goal of universal connectivity requires that it be efficient, while achieving equitable (or ‘fair’) results. The EU position is that an appropriate balance needs to be struck through regulation which pursues the twin goals of competition and investment, as is now required by the EECC. Over the past 20 years, the EU has benefitted from a successful regime of pro-competition regulation in telecommunications, which has transformed the structure of fixed markets and broadly maintained rivalry in the mobile market. However, the policy imperative of attaining universal high-speed connectivity requires the mobilisation of resources to cover remoter areas, which are less attractive to competitors. Government subsides may help, but in some Member States regulators may also have to dilute competitive pressure on the historic incumbent in order to elicit this investment. Possible ways of accomplishing this entirely legitimate task (and ensuring that the resources thus generated are applied to the relevant public purpose) are considered. In relation to 5G, questions arise about how much network sharing should be permitted to allow the construction of advanced stand-alone networks. Relevant competition cases in this area are also reviewed. Finally, the suggestion has seen made that network operators should receive resources transferred from the largest Over-The-Top operators (OTT), which are understood to be highly profitable and involved in, but which do not contribute to the cost of, infrastructure that can support the high proportion of Internet traffic. Which they carry and from which they benefit The paper discusses both the legitimacy of such an approach, if directed towards an authorised public purpose, and (briefly) the practical difficulties involved in its implementation, including ensuring that the transferred resources are deployed for the intended purposes.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 Elsevier Ltd
Divisions: Law
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2023 11:33
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2024 19:42

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item