Neterra CEO Neven Dilkov presented ecta Manifesto for the European Elections

ecta Calls for a Stable Regulatory Framework and Preserving the European Model to Accelerate Europe's Digital Transformation

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Neven Dilkov, CEO of Neterra and Chairman of the European Competitive Telecommunications Association (ecta), presented the ecta manifesto, "Vision for an Innovative, Competitive, Inclusive and Greener Europe" in an event held on 5 March in Brussels. The manifesto outlines key principles to guide future European Union (EU) policies impacting the telecommunications sector.

The event was attended by high-profile figures, including Kamila Kloc, Director B DG-Connect, Robert Mourik, BEREC Vice-Chair, Ursula Pachl, Deputy Director General of BEUC, CEO’s from ecta members’ European telecommunications companies.

The ecta manifesto emphasizes the critical role of a pro-competitive regulatory framework in driving investment, fostering innovation, and ensuring affordable access to high-speed internet for all Europeans. It highlights the success of the current EU regulatory approach in positioning Europe as a global leader in gigabit network deployment and adoption.

However, the manifesto also identifies areas for improvement, including spectrum allocation, Very High Capacity Network (VHCN) adoption, and cloud computing. It calls for a more harmonized approach to spectrum allocation across EU member states to remove barriers to 5G investment and promote a unified internal market.

Regarding VHCN adoption, the manifesto emphasizes the importance of stable wholesale copper prices and creating a level playing field for alternative operators to facilitate a smooth and rapid migration to fiber networks.

In the domain of cloud computing, the manifesto urges EU institutions to ensure fair competition and prevent dominance by a few non-European companies and proposes to adopt a Buy European Tech Act. It further proposes measures to promote data portability, transparency, and user choice.

Finally, the manifesto underscores the telecommunications sector's role in achieving the EU's Green Deal objectives. It advocates for eco-design principles for telecommunications equipment and harmonized regulations to enhance the sector's contribution to a sustainable future.

By outlining these key principles, the ecta manifesto provides a valuable roadmap for future EU policies impacting the telecommunications sector.

"Europe's telecommunications sector is the backbone of our digital economy and society. We must ensure a stable and predictable regulatory environment that fosters innovation and investment to unlock the full potential of Gigabit connectivity for all Europeans," said Neven Dilkov.

In his opinion, ‘ecta is publishing a Manifesto because we feel there is a need. There is a problem with the current plans of the EC to reduce ex-ante regulation and facilitate consolidation, clearly favoring 3 to 4 large European telecoms.’

Another point of his speech was that ‘Everyone needs to realize that competition does not happen only by itself. The normal market forces of mergers and acquisitions, and various forms of consolidation, all lead to reduction of the competition, worsening of the customers' choice and increasing prices.’

He also drew attention to the need for smart regulation that analyzes markets and implements appropriate measures.

Luc Hindryckx, Director General of ecta stated: „An inclusive electronic communications sector, embracing a multitude of participants, both large and small, and nurturing a diverse array of products and services, is essential to empower the entire European economy and unleash its innovative potential in the digital realm. This diversity serves as a crucial element, ensuring the adaptive fulfilment of the ever-evolving needs of businesses and public administrations.“

Luc Hindryckx concluded the event by giving gifts to the panelists, including the books "The Great Reversal: How America Gave Up on Free Markets" and „Les Gagnants de la concurrence Quand la France fait mieux que les États-Unis“ by Thomas Philippon; „Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition, and Still Can't Get a Date" by Robert X. Cringely; as well as the documentary film "Fly Rocket Fly: A History of European Entrepreneurship."