The European Commission has recently moved forward with plans to use the final design for a strategy defining the Digital Single Market, to be rolled out across the European Union. This is just what British business is crying out for as it bids to increase online trade, synchronise mobile spectrum services and gain better inducements for bigger investment in high-speed broadband.
The Commission believes that when we eventually get a fully operational Digital Single Market, it could pump in around £306 billion per annum into the EU economy and create many jobs. By breaking down the barriers that remain in Europe, it will become easier to create a fast broadband and mobile network infrastructure that is simple for everyone to operate within.
EC President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “Today, we lay the groundwork for Europe’s digital future. I want to see pan-continental telecoms networks, digital services that cross borders and a wave of innovative European startups. I want to see every consumer getting the best deals and every business accessing the widest market – wherever they are in Europe. Exactly a year ago, I promised to make a fully Digital Single Market one of my top priorities. Today, we are making good on that promise.”
The problem that the EU will face will be in the detail, and even though we are seeing a lot of general commitments being given, it is this fine detail that is the key to a single digital highway. Some fundamental telecoms measures have still not gained approval from individual member states, and it is possible that by trying to do everything at once, it might be too much.
The strategy has to encompass a lot of areas. Cheaper mobile roaming, a single telecoms market, and protection of net neutrality are just some of the issues. These issues on their own are complicated enough, and if they are all lumped together, they might become more complex to resolve.