The European Union Commission’s recent approval of a 3 billion Euro investment by Germany in the EU’s “Next-Generation Access” (NGA) initiative represents a first step towards much-needed broadband infrastructure expansion.
Formed in response to Europe’s declining private investment in network infrastructure in recent years, the NGA plan seeks to leverage public money to benefit businesses and private consumers equally, with a focus on rural areas. The EU’s plan calls for country-by-country investment, with an ultimate goal of a true Digital Single Market across Europe. Germany’s ‘Netzallianz Digitales Deutschland’ marks the launch of the initiative, setting a goal 50Mbps speeds across Germany by 2018.
The EU’s Broadband State Aid Guidelines stipulate that public funding for networks must benefit all competitors equally, with content and services available across all member states with the same rules and regulations applying to all. One concern is the proposal for “vectoring” to supplement the NGA – this would boost connectivity speeds but potentially limit competitive access to consumers.
For enterprise buyers, the NGA will mean more services and products to choose from, and an improved value for money proposition through enhanced broadband quality and speed.