On 21 March, Kekst CNC Brussels welcomed Carlota Reyners Fontana (Head of Unit, Electronic Communications Policy, DG CNECT, European Commission), Dr. Jakob Greiner (Vice-President, European Affairs, Deutsche Telekom), Lorelien Hoet (Director, EU Government Affairs, Microsoft), and Jakob Bluestone (Head of European Telecoms Equity Research, Credit Suisse), to discuss Tech and Telecoms Regulation in the Digital Decade, including the 2030 connectivity target of ‘gigabit’ for everyone.
The discussion covered the telecoms sector’s investment gap, the European Commission’s exploratory consultation, and the range of policy levers available to help increase connectivity in the digital age. These range from ‘fair contribution’, which could see so-called ‘large traffic generators’ make financial contributions to telecoms infrastructure, to loosening merger policy, as well as reducing Single Market barriers in radio spectrum.
Speakers agreed that additional investment is required for the sector to meet these ambitious targets, with telecoms and tech investing in the infrastructure of tomorrow. Views differed on how this could be achieved, and the impact of different policy options.
Companies across the telecoms and tech eco-systems will have to navigate a complex policy environment, in both Brussels and Member States, as we move toward the upcoming May 2024 European election, and see potential regulation during the 2024-2029 legislative mandate.