Internet: EU Commission wants to expand digital infrastructure

The EU Commission wants to expand digital infrastructure

The expansion of the digital infrastructure should be pushed forward in the EU. photo

© Jan Woitas/dpa

Complete access to the Internet, across Europe – the EU Commission is making suggestions on how this goal can be achieved. New security risks also play a role.

The The EU Commission wants to promote the expansion of digital networks in order to enable a stable Internet connection on cell phones or laptops throughout Europe. “Our current infrastructure cannot support the enormously increasing amount of data that we are currently using and certainly not the data that will be generated in the future,” said EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager on Wednesday in Brussels. The networks would therefore have to be expanded. But their operators operated primarily at the national level.

“We have all experienced that there are gaps in internet connectivity at the borders when we travel in Europe,” said Vestager. There are 27 national markets with different network architectures, frequency markets and also different regulations.

In order to create a “real” internal market for telecom companies, the Brussels authority is proposing, among other things, to accelerate the shutdown of copper lines, originally planned by 2030. “A switch to fiber optics would not only be more sustainable, but would also mean that the same technology would be used across Europe,” said Vestager. Another suggestion is to better coordinate licenses for frequencies in the EU. A single selection and approval process may even be an option.

The commission placed a particular focus on the security of the networks. According to Vestager, almost all international data traffic – 99 percent – passes under the sea. These undersea cables would be used for communications, military operations and global financial movements. They would have to withstand new security threats. The EU Commission called on the member states to coordinate so that the cables receive maximum protection and meet the highest safety standards. The proposals are now being discussed with those involved. The consultations are scheduled to end in June 2024.


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