Mind the Gap: Reevaluating the European Union’s Connectivity Investment Needs
Today Stratix published a report which challenges the European Commission’s depiction of a substantial ‘investment gap’ in achieving the Digital Decade policy objectives by 2030. The Commission highlighted an alleged €174 billion shortfall for reaching 1Gbps home connectivity and 5G coverage throughout the EU. However, the study by WIK Consult, referenced by the Commission, clarifies that the €174 billion represents the total investment required to meet these objectives, with a significant portion expected to come from market forces.
The study by WIK Consult identifies potential public funding needs of €40 billion for fixed networks and €2.7 billion for mobile networks. Yet, in the Stratix report, Rudolf van den Berg and Johan Terhaar claim that these figures overstate the investment needed due to discrepancies in European Commission statistics and an oversight of allocated public funding in certain EU nations like France.
Key findings from the study challenge the European Commission’s stance:
- The ‘investment gap’ is considerably smaller and can be largely covered using existing funding mechanisms.
- Fiber-optic (FTTH) network deployment in individual Member States is progressing faster than Commission data suggests, making the connectivity goals feasible, with any disparities attributed to investment decisions.
The analysis highlights the overestimation of needed investments for FTTH, leading to an overestimation of the public subsidy requirement. Additionally, it emphasizes that FTTH deployment varies significantly across Member States and is advancing more rapidly than previously assumed.
This study prompts a reevaluation of the perceived ‘investment gap’ and calls for a nuanced understanding of the actual funding needs for achieving Europe’s connectivity objectives. Detailed insights will be presented, shedding light on the disparities between perceived and actual investment requirements, aiming to guide more informed policy decisions.
This study was financially supported by Microsoft and endorsed by DOT Europe.
Download the full paper here: Stratix-paper_Mind-the-Gap
For media inquiries and further details, please contact DOT Europe: info@DOTEurope.eu