Commissioner Oettinger sets out digital single market plans in first industry address at Cable Europe annual reception

Commissioner Oettinger sets out digital single market plans in first industry address at Cable Europe annual reception
04/11/2014 Carol Ward

(Brussels, 4 December) At Cable Europe’s annual reception on Wednesday evening, European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Günther Oettinger praised the industry, saying “I know that cable has played an important role in delivering our Digital Agenda broadband targets and we will continue to rely on you in the coming years.” Setting out the need for further investment, Oettinger said that “the European Commission’s aim is to provide all the right conditions and incentives,” and that the European Fund for Strategic Investments will be “good news for broadband and digital infrastructure projects.”

Commissioner Oettinger also committed to completing work on the Telecoms Single Market package, as a necessary step towards presenting the strategy for the Digital Single Market in the first half of next year, alongside the launch of a full review of the EU regulatory framework for electronic communications.

Responding to Commissioner Oettinger, Manuel Kohnstamm, Cable Europe President and Senior Vice President and Chief Policy Officer at Liberty Global, welcomed the Commissioner’s pragmatic approach and highlighted the role that cable is playing in delivering the European Digital Agenda, saying “the benefits of private investment in infrastructure are clear – the enormous pace of technological advancement has opened unprecedented choice and possibilities for consumers.”

Cable Europe Executive Chairman Matthias Kurth said “the investment package presented by Commission President Juncker needs to sit alongside continued efforts to improve the regulatory environment. This will trigger the private investments that are needed to make Juncker’s package a success.”

Earlier in the evening Ben Keen, Chief Director, IHS Technology, revealed that the cable industry is growing strongly in Europe as the number of total subscriptions[1] increased over the past year by 2.1% to 112 million and total revenues increased by 3.9% to €21.8 billion, based on IHS forecasts for 2014. He also remarked that, despite strong competition from new types of services, cable operators continue to benefit from a good relationship with consumers and faster broadband products.