European media commissioner Viviane Reding has set out her vision for a "Digital Europe", with four key points including a plea to resolve the legislative impasse caused by opposition to "three strikes" plans.
On speeding the DSO she says: "The United States as a whole switched to digital TV last month. I call therefore on all EU governments: Don't wait until 2012, the EU-wide deadline for the final digital switch-off, to bring these benefits to you businesses and citizens. Act swiftly now." Reding is to publish measures to accelerate the switchover later today (10.07.09).
"The present economic crisis requires us to accelerate the ongoing switchover from analogue to digital TV in Europe." Reding reckons spectrum auctioned for wireless broadband could reap E150 to E200 billion.
She also stated anti-piracy rules must be harmonized. The EC's telecoms reforms are currently held up after MEPs repeatedly refused to abandon their opposition to allowing countries to disconnect illegal downloaders without court approval. Reding says: "The agreement encompasses … 750 subparagraphs – there is only one subparagraph on which no agreement could be found." She warns EU GDP could increase by two percent with the reforms, helping save E20 billion a year she says is lost due to fragmented national regulations.
The remaining call were for encouraging NGNs through cooperation: Reding wants more competition but also "extra impetus through co-investment schemes under which several operators deploy fibre-to the-home." Finally she recommended driving 3G/LTE take-up: Reding pointed out only 16 percent of EU mobile users (92 million) use 3G but says reforms to GSM legislation could save mobile carriers E1.6 billion in capex.