The EU needs high speed and ubiquitous broadband if it is to deliver additional economic and social benefits to its citizens through the Digital Single Market. This will require major investment in new technologies to upgrade Europe’s telecommunications access networks.
Currently the EU faces a major challenge here. In particular when compared with the US there is a large investment gap. The US invests more than twice as much per fixed line as the EU and this gap is, if anything, growing. As a result Europe enjoys more limited availability of high-speed broadband, poorer download speeds, and uses less data per head than the US.
Our research indicates that regulation of the telecommunication sector has played a significant role in creating this investment challenge for Europe. The revision of the regulatory framework for electronic communications creates an opportunity to deal with this investment challenge.