We have provided some examples in each of the discussions to kick things off but bear in mind the context of this consultation is limited to the role that public authorities of EU funds can have in the funding of broadband and high speed infrastructure.
We do not wish to describe these models in any “greater” detail as this would add significant complexity and result in the definition of multiple “alternatives”.
We do seek to capture your comments, suggestions, alternatives, issues, ideas and insights – that are generally attributable to a source (in order to give “context” to the opinion)
You can add your comments here and / or join the discussions over on EBPII
The Digital Agenda for Europe has set up ambitious targets on the deployment and use of high speed broadband infrastructure and services. It is obvious that these are ambitious objectives which will require a substantial amount of investment and efforts both from private and public domains. Although amounts are difficult to calculate, in the broadband communication the Commission gave a rough estimate of the investment required, based on recent studies.
The estimate indicates that between € 38bn and € 58bn would be needed to achieve the 30 Mbps coverage for all by 2020 (using a mix of VDSL and next generation wireless) and between € 181bn and € 268bn to provide sufficient coverage so that 50% of households are on 100 Mbps services.
The size of the investment represents a real challenge. This is because the benefits for society as a whole appear to be much greater than the private incentives to invest in faster networks.
Private investment is currently targeting mainly urban areas. However, there are vast parts of Europe which are rural, remote or sparsely populated. To satisfy the needs of these communities, new models of investment in high speed networks are arising particularly at local and regional level. This is particularly relevant within the context of rural and regional development as the availability of open, competitive, affordable and good quality broadband networks is a key element for the long term sustainability and competitiveness of less advanced regions and rural areas.
…”the benefits for society as a whole appear to be much greater than the private incentives to invest in faster networks”
The sentence above captures the essence of the dilemma that surrounds the issues at stake in the investment in broadband and most importantly in high speed networks in areas affected by market failure.
These issues are particularly important in for public authorities in charge of areas (mostly rural, less advanced and remote) where the market does not provide these networks at a sufficient speed, to an adequate quality and at an affordable cost. When deciding about their intervention, public authorities need to make a choice among those investment models that most further the interests of the communities: households, enterprises, public entities and the territory as a whole. Their aim is to provide their territory with access to suitable ICT infrastructure and services that would allow them to prevent de-location and depopulation (particularly the departure of young population), but to also to attract investment (foreign and national) and sustain their long term competitiveness and attractiveness with respect to their competitors across the globe.
The European Broadband Portal is hosting an on-line consultation of the blogosphere on the basis of a very preliminary description of the models of broadband investment. This consultation will take place between the 1st and the 31 of May and will involve a very wide range of different stakeholders and in particular public authorities involved in the management of EU funds.
NB: The context of this consultation is limited to the role that public authorities of EU funds can have in the funding of broadband and high speed infrastructure in areas where these infrastructure are not provided by market players at a sufficient speed, quality of service or at an affordable price to sustain services that are crucial to achieve the aims of regional and rural development.
 Differences are mainly due to varying distributions of household density and the mix of technologies.
The sources are Plum/Cave – Broadband Stakeholder Group, JP Morgan and Analysis Mason (UK).