You and your Region have the opportunity to influence the Community Guidelines for the application of State aid rules in relation to rapid deployment of broadband networks!

Do you believe the rules should be changed to provide the State Aid and Public Sector financial support needed and guarantee the superspeed infrastructure required across Europe over the next 9 years ?

HOT ISSUES – discuss your views here – gather support – submit your responses to DG COMP.

  • Should incumbents be forced to collaborate with the competition?
  • Should new suppliers of dark fibre be taxed for every metre installed?
  • Should governments and LA’s who fund next generation networks with public money retain ownership or at least a “golden share”.
  • Should the 7 Year Rule be dropped?
  • Should “White Areas” be defined as < 20Mpbs simultaneous download and upload [Germany]
  • Should there be a National Broadband Fund for community intiatives? [USA]

All responses must be with DG COMPETITION before the closing date: 31st August 2011.

* “all stakeholders to submit their views on the basis of the questionnaire. Please in particular mention individual paragraphs in the draft if you wish to make specific comments.”

Questionnaire bg cs da de el en es et fi fr hu it lt lv mt nl pl pt ro sk sl sv (Rich Text Format)

9 responses to “EU NEEDED YOUR VOICE !

  1. Post us all a link to your regions’ submissions here.
    Express your views, add comments and gather support for your submissions.

  2. This is the UK approach in compliance with State Aid Guidelines for delivering superfast broadband.

    Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) – a team within DCMS – was set up to deliver the Government’s broadband strategy, bringing superfast broadband to all parts of the UK.

    BDUK’s main role is to allocate and distribute £530m of funding, to bring superfast broadband to the third of UK homes and businesses which won’t be provided for by the broadband market and would otherwise miss out.

    County councils, unitary authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships can apply for a share of the money by developing a local broadband plan setting out how everyone in the area will be provided with superfast broadband access.

    Once the local plan is sufficiently developed, BDUK will allocate the funding and the work will be put out to tender to bidding suppliers. [Here is the BROADBAND DELIVERY FRAMEWORK CONTRACT Call issued 29th June 2011 ]

    Latest news
    £50m funding superfast broadband package for Wiltshire, Norfolk and Devon & Somerset (27 May 2011)
    BDUK Programme Delivery Model published (17 May 2011)
    90% of homes and businesses should have superfast broadband by 2015 (12 May 2011)
    Ofcom consultation assessing future mobile competition and proposals for the award of 800 MHz and 2.6 GHz spectrum and related issues (Closed 31 May 2011)

    What has happened so far?
    Three areas – Wiltshire, Norfolk and Devon & Somerset – will receive a share of a £50m funding package for superfast broadband, adding to the four rural areas selected last year to pilot superfast broadband.

    What can I do to bring broadband to my area?
    Contact your local councillor.

    We want local communities to decide how broadband will be brought to their area. That is why we have made local authorities responsible for handling the roll-out of broadband in their area.

    Community need should drive the process so contact your local authority and encourage them to apply for the funding.”

    Investment Gap data model (July 2011) (PDF 337kb)
    Britain’s Superfast Broadband Future (6 December 2010)
    BDUK theoretical exercise: conclusions and lessons learned (December 2010)

  3. Comments on the above —- According to Ian Grant a Business and technology writer and editor and follower of broadband developments in the UK.

    “Because the qualification thresholds are so high, the mostly likely primary contractors are likely to be BT, and Fujitsu Telecom, which together with Virgin Media, has already indicated its willingness to invest £2bn in broadband networks.

    The framework is likely to increase the divide between urban and rural communities as contractors will not be required to deliver speeds above 15Mbps to areas with a housing density of between 20 and 50 houses per square kilometre.

    In general the access speeds required range from 2Mbps to 50Mbps. The documents do not say whether this is purely for download or symmetric traffic.

    Candidates must show a turnover of at least £40m over the past two years. They must also show that they have delivered at least one residential or business network, excluding backhaul, that serves at least 30,000 subscribers, and are currently running a network that serves at least 10,000 subscribers.”


  4. Regeneris has done some quick analysis of the Ofcom data by adding in numbers of people affected to their assessment[i]. When you start multiplying Ofcom percentages with absolute numbers of residents and businesses in each area, a somewhat different picture emerges. It is not always the most sparsely populated areas which are most greatly affected.

    The absolute greatest number of people and businesses with slow broadband is in actual fact in London. Although just 8% of existing broadband connections in London are less than 2Mbit/s, compared to say Cumbria where the figure is 21% or Milton Keynes where it is 30%. The sheer number of people and businesses in London means that nearly 650,000 residents and businesses cannot get 2Mb. By comparison, in Cumbria the figure is still a hefty 108,000 and in Milton Keynes it is 75,000!

    Other cities can also show they face a real challenge. Birmingham appears to have 384,000 businesses and residents not taking up broadband, while Leeds has a further 296,000. In Hull there are 267,000 [not 296,000 as originally stated] people without access to superfast broadband, Glasgow has a further 244,000 and Manchester has 110,000 more.

    If the government’s goal of securing the best superfast broadband in Europe is to be fully realised and the largest number of people are to benefit, solutions for these more urban areas need to be found.

  5. ## Broadband Capping ##

    Should we be calling for abolishment of broadband capping as experienced in the USA? Read this user experience indicating 174000 users likely to be capped!! What chance will home workers and SOHO occupiers ave of being able to access the Internet at super speeds and without this worry in the future?

  6. Before the last revision of the State Aid rules in 2009 these issues were raised. In your experience are they still valid and require addressing in this current review?

    o The perception of the prenotification process was very valuable for the Regions with experience on it. The opportunity to check, in an unofficial way, the project with the Commission is a big advantage in order to ensure the official process. On the other hand, it is another “delay” in the project roadmap, but it is also an investment to ensure the project’s future success.

    o State aid Notification process is a long and complicated process

    (official notification between 2 or 4 months, but you have to take into account also the prenotification
    process and the preparation of the documents). It is long and has not really a clear timing. Prenotification has been compulsory from summer’09, but there are no obligations from EU to reach any metrics, time or schedule. It is an obligation to prenotify and “wait and see”. On the other hand, the open and unofficial dialogue of prenotification process is considered as very positive and helpful.

    o After some years applying State aid to broadband, decisions are still taken “case by case”.

    There are few guidelines, there are no basic rules (“if you follow this scheme, it will be approved”). Why? There is clearly a limit to the capacity of DG Competition to make decisions.

    o Cost of notification process is clearly important for the regions.

    Detailed studies need to be conducted by neutral (external) agents to prove what you know. It is also necessary to have skilled legal support. It is needed for the responses to requests from the Commission and to collaborate with them along the process. That increases the costs of the global project just to feel safe regarding possible legal complaints.

    o Notification process is perceived as a risky business.

    Even if you fulfil all requirements, you don’t have the certainty whether your project will be approved or not. It is also difficult to know when will it be approved with the consequent problem in the financial planification, taking into account the funds that are waiting to activate the project. Financial risk, roadmap risk, also risk of decisions taken by external people of the project.

    o Currently governments are supporting banks, actual economic situation is changing

    Why is broadband different than financial market? Can we expect changes during next months?

  7. User Experiences and tales from around UK, France and Ireland
    Forgotten countryside should look to satellite broadband
    Indicative costs of rolling out dark fibre
    Gap between broadband claims and delivery widens

    What are your experiences and should the EU protect broadband users when providing State Aid?

    for example:

  8. UK Government to negotiate £830M framework contracts with broadband suppliers

    Mr Hunt said the government was developing framework contracts with a range of prominent suppliers to ensure a wide range of broadband providers.

    “We are not going to determine the outcome of market-based competition, but obviously we are being absolutely clear that we are not showing favouritism to any one company and we are going to allow competing providers to offer what they can,” he said.

    What is your region/government doing to encourage competition and superfast broadband rollout?


    • The U.S. “stimulus plan” (the American Recovery and
    Reinvestment Act of 2009) targeted $7.2 billion for broadband
    expansion. One goal: providing 100 million American
    households with access to download speeds of 100
    Mbit/s (megabits per second) and upload of 50 Mbit/s by
    • Canada set aside $225 million for a three-year initiative,
    beginning in 2009-10, to address gaps in broadband
    access, particularly in rural and remote communities.
    • The European Union has adopted a “Digital Agenda for
    Europe,” a plan to bring basic broadband to all Europeans
    by 2013 and much higher speeds (50 − 100 Mbit/s) by
    • South Korea kicked off a $25 billion plan in early 2009
    to upgrade the national network so citizens could enjoy
    1Gbit/s connections by 2012, with most of the funding
    for the upgrade to come from private telecom operators.
    • Singapore’s government is kicking in $520 million for a
    Next Generation National Broadband Network, with
    speeds ranging from 100 Mbit/s to 1 Gbit/s. It’s expected
    that 95 percent of the country will be connected by June
    2012 to an ultra high-speed fiber network.
    • In Australia, the government is investing up to $43 billion
    in an eight-year project to create a National Broadband
    Network that will deliver ultrafast broadband.

    Will you have the connectivity to be a teleworker?

    JALA International, a telework consulting firm, forecasts the number of worldwide teleworkers will more than double in the next 20 years,
    from approximately 160 million in 2010 to about 375 million
    in 2030.

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