EU mulls tighter rules on broadband

The European Commission unveiled plans that would force telecom providers to share broadband infrastructure with rivals and unify regulations in the sector, an Associated Press report said.
The report quoted Viviane Reding, the commissioner in charge of the EU's telecom policy, as saying that the rules would encourage competition.
"We must open the markets when they are dominated by dominant players," she was quoted as saying. "We have seen in all our analysis, where the markets are opened, investments are done and prices go down for consumers."
Many countries were dragging their heels in applying EU orders to open up their markets to competition, allowing historic telephone monopolies to remain dominant players with the power to determine who could access their networks, the report said.
The report added that as a result, phone companies such as Deutsche Telekom AG and France Telecom controlled 80% of European broadband connections. In contrast, US telephone companies accounted for only 38% of subscribers there.
Reding's plans included setting up a single market for radio spectrum, replacing 25 different regulations covering use of the airwaves. She previously proposed a single European telecom regulator that would coordinate national market watchdogs, the report said.