Vestager, Telecom Information, ET Telecom

MILAN: Nations within the European Union with plans to hurry up deployment of the broadband telecommunications community ought to adjust to guidelines to guard competitors, the EU’s antitrust official mentioned on Tuesday.

The feedback come as member states put together to submit tasks eligible for the EU’s € 750 billion Restoration and Resilience Mechanism (FRR) – a fifth of which is able to go to digital capability constructing tasks.

“Member States ought to make sure that measures are applied in accordance with all relevant guidelines, together with state support and public procurement guidelines,” mentioned the competitors chief of the EU, Margrethe Vestager, in response to a query from a European legislator.

Stephanie Yon-Courtin requested Vestager if Brussels has a mechanism in place to make sure that RRF assets are usually not used to distort competitors within the telecommunications trade, saying the funds mustn’t strengthen the place of operators dominant.

“The Fee encourages Member States to incorporate of their restoration and resilience plans investments and reforms aimed … on the speedy deployment of very excessive capability networks,” mentioned Vestager.

Yon-Courtin additionally expressed concern a few plan drafted by Italy final yr to merge the community property of the previous phone monopoly Telecom Italia with its state-backed rival, Open Fiber, in an organization that could be eligible for restoration funds.

As a part of this plan, which has but to be finalized, Rome would create a single unified community champion to speed up the deployment of fiber optics throughout the nation whereas avoiding duplication of investments.

“The Fee will proceed to vigorously implement current EU guidelines, together with antitrust and merger guidelines, the place relevant, to make sure efficient competitors within the telecommunications marketplace for the advantage of companies and shoppers.”

Italy’s new authorities, led by former European Central Financial institution chief Mario Draghi, has but to say whether or not it intends to implement his predecessor’s unified community challenge.

Certainly one of Draghi’s primary duties can be to reformulate Italy’s stimulus fund plan.

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