Government outlines position on enhancing communications infrastructure – Member States must have room for manoeuvre
The Government submitted a Union communication to Parliament on 27 April 2023 concerning a European Commission proposal for a Regulation to enhance the deployment of high-speed communication networks. While supporting the objectives of the proposal, the Government stresses that Member States should have adequate leeway.
The European Commission adopted its Regulation proposal on 23 February 2023 with a view to promoting cost-effective deployment of high-speed communication networks, attracting investment in fibre networks, and optimising take-up of 5G connections. The aim is to promote common use of existing, and joint construction of new physical infrastructure. The Regulation is intended to repeal an instrument known as the Broadband Cost Reduction Directive.
National characteristics to be taken into account
The Government emphasises the need to accommodate national characteristics when implementing the Regulation. Some Member States have joined Finland in introducing national measures that are more far-reaching than the Broadband Cost Reduction Directive.
The Government calls particular attention to ownership of internal networks in buildings. The Regulation must ensure the preservation of national intranet statutes.
While envisaging challenges in meeting the proposed processing times for licence applications, the Government nevertheless welcomes the idea of a centralised single-window application service for required construction work permits.
Implementing the Regulation should not impose an unreasonable administrative or financial burden on Member States. Applying the Regulation in its currently proposed form would require significant system development projects and amendments to national legislation. The Government accordingly feels that the proposed six-month implementation period should be increased.
The Government submitted its Union communication to Parliament on 27 April 2023. The communication will be considered at the Grand Committee, which will also hear the views of the relevant specialist committees of Parliament.
The Council of the EU and the European Parliament will formulate their own positions on the proposal.
Sofia Lindbäck, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 29 534 2165, [email protected]