As part of the European ‘Digital Decade’ strategy, which aims to transform the digital aspect in all business and citizens within Europe, the European Commission has proposed two initiatives titled the Gigabit Infrastructure Act and the Gigabit Recommendation.
The initiatives target both fixed and wireless networks, including mobile, to be upgraded to Very High Capacity Networks (“VHCN”). VHCNs shall have the ability to both download and upload with Gigabit (1000Mbps = 125MB/s) speeds by 2030, which is aimed to strengthen the international competitiveness of the European Union.
“Today we are making sure that everyone, everywhere in the EU, has access to fast and secure connectivity. But high-speed internet requires high investments” Thierry Breton, European Internal Market Commissioner
To achieve this, the Commission proposed to: 1) Digitalise the process of obtaining permits for the construction of network lines; 2) Improve coordination between network operators and civil workers for access to service trenches and ducts; and 3) Require all new or renovated buildings to have access to fibre connectivity.
Should the Gigabit Infrastructure Act pass, it will replace the currently in-force 2014 Broadband Cost Reduction Directive which contributed to 90% of EU households having access to 30 Mbps speeds by 2021.