EC scratches collective head over low cost broadband infrastructure

The European Commission has opened up a consultation to try to reduce the cost of high speed internet rollout.

High speed net connections are a critical part of a Digital Single Market, and broadband connectivity is vital for boosting business in the future.

According to the EC, for every 10 percent increase in broadband penetration the economy grows by one to 1.5 percent.

EC vice president Neelie Kroes is concerned that installation costs are slowing new networks being developed for high speed internet in the EU.

The EC is now consulting on how to reduce costs of digging up roads to, for example, lay down fibre cables, which can account for up to 80 percent of the total cost.

It is hoped that investment costs could be cut by a quarter in the future, if telecoms and utilities firms accept having their heads banged together. The EC is also looking at ways to improve on existing infrastructure. 

Recent work into improving wireless connectivity in the UK has been successful.  Microsoft was part of a consortium including Nokia, Samsung BT and others which improved broadband connections through the use of ‘white spaces’ to improve existing infrastructure.