The European Parliament's threat to reestablish regulatory limits on wholesale communication service providers and operators that invest in new networks imperils the continent's vision of a single digital market, according to a letter top CSP executives submitted this week.
The missive, shared with several regional publications, addressed proposed changes to the Electronic Communications Code and ePrivacy Regulation.
The original proposals – drafted by the commission's digital chief Andrus Ansip and the commissioner who oversees telecom policy, Günther Oettinger -- were designed to reduce regulations for most CSPs and encouraged them to invest in fiber networks in underserved and rural areas. But, concerned these rules would reduce competition, other members of Europe's Parliament advocated abandoning plans to ease access obligations for wholesale-only CSPs and those operators that deploy new networks. (See FTTH Group Woos EU Parliament With Fiber Lunch)
"The initial strategic focus on investment and innovation appears lost and current developments risk hampering the ability of companies to deliver for European citizens and businesses," the letter said, according to the Financial Times. "We believe that growth, employment, investment and contribution to taxation are at stake."
In addition, the European Parliament's consumer committee will regulate the price of international calling. This is a step CSPs fear will erode profits and cost them €660 billion at the same time they're expending billions of euros to enhance infrastructure, the Financial Times reported.
If Europe over-regulates, it will mark a big step backward, CSPs cautioned.
"Other regions of the world are out-investing Europe 2 to 1 in digital networks," the executives wrote. "This should be a reason for alarm and action, especially in the context of global competition and fast-paced technological change."
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