The European Union (EU) has announced a series of proposals aimed at encouraging the development of next-generation internet access as part of the Digital Agenda for Europe.
The EU wants all citizens to have access to basic broadband by 2013, and ultra-fast broadband by 2020, and has put forward a number of proposals to make this happen.
Telecoms operators and national regulatory authorities (NRAs) have been urged to work together to ensure that rollouts reach areas where market forces alone will not entice investment.
"It is appropriate to provide guidance to NRAs aimed at preventing any inappropriate divergence of regulatory approaches, while allowing NRAs to take proper account of national circumstances when designing remedies," said the EU in its first recommendation (PDF).
"The appropriate remedies imposed by an NRA should reflect a proportionate application of the 'ladder of investment' principle."
The EU has also produced a policy document (PDF) setting out a series of national government goals to help drive broadband deployment.
"Member state plans should comprise a balanced set of policy actions to incentivise and supplement private sector action, using the common framework resulting from a consistent and thorough implementation of EU regulatory frameworks," it said.
The EU also insisted that regional and local authorities should reduce the town planning and regulatory costs of infrastructure deployments, an issue that has irked many in the UK already.
The document revealed that the European Investment Bank has agreed to provide more funds for a greater range of broadband projects.
Furthermore, the EU called for the wider deployment of wireless broadband to take advantage of technologies that will offer speeds well over the 30Mbit/s goal.
This includes the Radio Spectrum Policy Programme (PDF), which sets out policy orientations and objectives for the planning and harmonisation of spectrum.
"[The policy] sets concrete priority initiatives for enhanced co-ordination, flexibility and availability of spectrum for wireless broadband communications and other specific EU policies," it reads.
"Wireless broadband could contribute substantially to economic recovery and growth if sufficient spectrum is made available, usage rights are awarded quickly and trading is allowed to adapt to market evolution."
Neelie Kroes, Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, claimed that the updates are vital to the development of the internet across the EU.
"These measures will help to ensure that Europeans get the first-class internet they expect and deserve, so that they can access the content and services they want," she said.
Kroes told the Nordic Broadband Forum last week that investment in broadband networks will have to come from the public and private sectors given the need to push rollouts in to economically unviable areas.
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