The role of regulatory policies in enabling investment in fibre and 5G

The role of regulatory policies in enabling investment in fibre and 5G

Yulia Kossykh participated in a panel on "Investment and Connectivity" at the BEREC/IIC conference "Competing Continents: The pursuit of excellence in electronic communications " in Riga.

There is a strong push in Europe to invest in digital services that would deliver on the Gigabit society objectives: i.e. by 2025, to ensure that

  • all major public providers have access to 1 Gbps speed broadband,

  • all European households have access to at least 100Mbps speeds, which can be upgraded to 1Gbps; and

  • to have uninterrupted 5G coverage in all urban areas as well as on major roads and railways.

In order to achieve these objectives, EU countries need to invest in future-proof digital technologies, such as fibre and 5G. However, there is currently a huge variation in the amount of fibre deployed in the EU. While Latvia, Spain, Portugal and Sweden have over 70% fibre coverage, some EU countries lag behind with only 10% coverage (or even less).  While some of the variation can be explained by external factors which influence the cost of deployment, such as population density or the type of housing stock, regulatory policies also play an important role in incentivising investment.

Yulia presented a study on the key enablers for investment in fibre and 5G. The aim of the study was to assess regulatory environments in 12 EU countries in order to identify regulatory best practice and barriers to investment. In her presentation, Yulia focussed on a regulated passive infrastructure access as one of the key enablers for fibre deployment and on minimising the burden of obtaining planning permits for deploying mobile masts and fibre – an area, where disparities between the countries are particularly stark.

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