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European business frustrated by fragmented EU electronic communications market


A major new study has found that current regulation of electronic communications services in Europe is failing to meet the needs of business.

As EU ministers meet this week for the Telecoms Council, the report highlights that the quality, range and accessibility of telecoms inputs for electronic communications for businesses across the EU is completely fragmented.

The consequences are serious according to Professor Martin Cave of Warwick Business School. “The difficulties of piecing together a seamless offering for corporate clients has led to the pan-European market for corporate services being underdeveloped.”

The study calls on the European Commission to lay the foundations for an innovative pan European market in telecommunications services and applications. “The current review of the EU regulatory framework is a golden opportunity to ensure that the needs of business are met” said Luis Alvarez, President for EMEA of BT Global Services. “This study shows that we have the chance to improve European business competitiveness with a few simple measures”.

Drawing on the experiences of major companies operating in Europe, via a series of interviews conducted by the International Telecommunications User Group (INTUG) and the Enterprise Virtual Network User Association (EVUA), the study is intended to make an important contribution to the current Commission review of the regulatory framework.

“If we can’t get the communications infrastructure right then the outlook for European business competitiveness is bleak” said Nick White of INTUG. “Member States want businesses to adopt advanced ICT to improve EU productivity and growth. At the same time they have created a system of 27 different telecoms regulatory regimes, some of which are at best half-serious about requiring incumbents to provide access services”.

The Commission’s proposals on new legislation will likely give them the ability to review national regulation. Yet some national regulators claim that cross-border services in telecoms do not exist and that therefore there is no role for the Commission.

According to the study, however, businesses operating at Pan-European level require cross border services “We want only one or two suppliers across the whole of Europe” said Massimiliano Leccà, Fiat’s ICT Corporate Governance Services Outsourcing Manager. “A high degree of diversification of transport networks has proved to be inefficient in terms of governance, service continuity, performance management and maintenance cost” he added.

The study, “The Economic Benefits from Providing Businesses with Competitive Electronic Communications Services”, is written by a group of leading academics and communications consultants and backed by INTUG, EVUA and BT plc.

The full study is available on the following websites:


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