Europe to throw cash at broadband rollout

Oi, over 'ere

The European Commission (EC) wants to spend billion of euros in rolling out broadband to some of Europe's poorest areas.

The EC reckons the cash from its "structural fund" and the use of "financial incentives" will help Europe meet its target to deploy broadband in a bid to make Europe the "world's most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy by 2010".

Publishing a new "Action Plan" eEurope 2005: An information society for all, the EC makes it clear that broadband investment should come primarily from the private sector.

And despite the failure of local loop unbundling (LLU), the report insists that this is still a viable way forward in delivering competition.

However, it adds that "Member States, in co-operation with the Commission should support, where necessary, [broadband] deployment in less favoured areas, and where possible may use structural funds and/or financial incentives (without prejudice to competition rules)".

According to Erkki Liikanen, European Commissioner responsible for Enterprise and the Information Society, this should help achieve one of his goals concerning the "widespread availability of broadband access at competitive prices" by 2005.

Said Liikanen: "Broadband-enabled communication will bring social as well as economic benefits. It offers the potential to improve and simplify the life of all Europeans and to change the way people interact, not just at work, but also with friends, family, community and institutions and the way companies operate."

Whatever.

To view the report go here.

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