In order to facilitate the deployment of high-speed networks, the European Commission wants to reduce costs incurred by civil engineering. Europolitics information society saw the relevant draft regulation, which plans to streamline the issuance of the permits required for the deployment of telecommunication infrastructures. Businesses will be entitled to receive a decision on their permit requests within a maximum period of six months. This measure is likely to weigh heavily on member states. Provisions to facilitate the use of all types of physical infrastructures by telecommunication network providers are also planned.

The text will be submitted to consultation by the Commission's services over the next few days. It will thus be subject to change before the College of Commissioners adopts it.

The Commission has set itself the objective of ensuring that, by 2020, all Europeans have access to high-speed internet connections of at least 30 megabits per second (Mbps), with at least 50% of European households subscribing to internet connections above 100 Mbps. However, according to Commission data, costs related to civil engineering can reach up to 80% of the total network investments.


Along with the draft regulation, the Commission also plans to lay down rights and obligations aimed at reducing the deployment costs of telecommunications networks. The first of these measures aims to streamline the issuance of permits for civil works within this area across the EU. The process of issuing permits is currently ambiguous, complex and lengthy. It also varies considerably between member states. For instance, the time it takes to issue work permits relating to fixed networks differs significantly - anything between two weeks and nine months, delays notwithstanding. These delays can spread over a number of years for radio networks. This often discourages businesses from investing in fixed and mobile telecommunications networks, the Commission concluded in its final report after the public consultation held from 27 April to 20 July 2012.

The EU executive plans to include in the draft regulation a provision that grants businesses the right to receive a "timely decision" on their permit application to carry out civil works within the telecommunications sector. These decisions will have to be adopted by the competent national authorities, explicitly or tacitly, and in accordance with the timeframes laid down in EU and national laws. The draft...

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