At the advent of a new European Commission coming into office, policy makers and other stakeholders in Europe should be mindful of the cautionary tale presented by European telecommunications policies. The multi-year pursuit of “lowest-price-for-consumer” policy, with an emphasis on “maximising-the-number-of-competitors”, has left Europe and its citizens in many regions with lower quality networks in comparison to its global peers and a digital deficit instead of a digital dividend.
This article addresses five crucial aspects of the European telecom environment and the relevant learnings for a new and revised policy:
- The fact that the European telecoms sector lack investment incentives in comparison to its global peers;
- The negative consequences for the entire European economy and society following the decline of the telecom sector in Europe;
- The need to re-focus European regulators and competition authorities on Dynamic Efficiency Gains that encompass additional investments and innovation, among other things, instead of sticking to static efficiency and the consequences regarding sector consolidation;
- The need to implement a paradigm shift towards a new regulatory regime in Europe;
- The fact that the current regulatory framework in Europe needs a fundamental overhaul after successfully delivering considerable consumer benefits.
Read more: How to make the lead balloon fly (2)