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Towards a European single market for telecoms

The telecommunications sector is crucial to the entire economy of the EU. Since 2009, despite constant growth in demand for data services, its revenues have been declining. Despite having an early lead, European telecoms lag behind international competition with regards to investment and deployment of modern infrastructure.

Towards a European single market for telecoms

© Kurhan / Fotolia

Even though legal obstacles to liberalisation were removed in 1998, the market remains fragmented along national borders in terms of its structure, consumer pricing, network access fees and radio spectrum allocation. The high cost of “roaming” between national markets is just one outcome of this fragmentation.

In September 2013, the European Commission proposed the Connected Continent package which aims to remove the obstacles to a genuine single market for telecoms and incentivise the sector to invest in new technologies and services. The proposal seeks to reduce administrative burdens related to gaining authorisation to operate, coordinate radio-spectrum assignment at EU level, and increase network capacity. It will also lead to the elimination of premiums on international call and on incoming calls when roaming.

The proposal provoked mixed reactions from stakeholders, who supported only some of its elements and criticised the lack of official consultation process and the rushed attempt to have it adopted in the current legislature.

Read the whole briefing here

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6 thoughts on “Towards a European single market for telecoms

  1. Even if the conclusions are right, the data used in this report are not correct or even falsified, which makes the report useless. How many other such reports does the EP Library contain?

    Posted by Ja Ty | November 26, 2013, 18:39
    • As mentioned in the text, “This briefing is a summary of published information”. The data is not falsified, it comes from the European Commission’s “Digital Scoreboard” ( which they use to assess progress towards Digital Agenda goals.
      If you refer specifically to the map with the broadband prices, please note that it represents a median price of internet access above 8Mbps.

      Posted by EP Library | November 27, 2013, 11:27
  2. This is all pie in the sky. European telecoms are all protecting their own interests. Big old ex state telecoms like Spains Telefonica resist real open competition and keep their prices fixed and customers get a raw deal, thats the real truth of Europe’s cozy fixed broadband market.

    Posted by Tom Carney | November 13, 2013, 14:54


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