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Parliamentary questions
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14 October 2021
E-004004/2021(ASW)
Answer given by Mr Breton
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-004004/2021

The Commission proposal on the 2030 Policy Programme ‘Path to the Digital Decade’(1) and its targets of excellent and secure Gigabit connectivity for everybody and everywhere in Europe are a prerequisite for a society in which every business and citizen can fully participate. This requires bringing fibre closer to end-users.

Article 8 of the Broadband Cost Reduction Directive states that Member States shall ensure that newly constructed/renovated buildings are equipped with high-speed-ready in-building physical infrastructure. The existence of such infrastructure has the potential to reduce the cost of deploying high-speed electronic communications networks up to the end-user. Providing for mini-ducts during the construction or renovation of a building has only a limited incremental cost while retrofitting buildings with high-speed infrastructure may represent a significant part of the cost of high-speed network deployment. Moreover, where multi-dwelling buildings are equipped with an access point, providers may easily access the in-building infrastructure and reach end-users.

Lack of transposition of this provision means that Irish providers cannot take advantage of these rules to reduce their cost of deployment, increase the footprint of their networks and reach more end-users.

The Commission services have raised the lack of transposition of this Article into national law in the DESI implementation report(2) and have a regular exchange on the state of play with the Irish authorities.

(1)COM(2021) 574 final — Proposal for a decision establishing a policy programme: the path to the digital decade.
(2)https://ec.europa.eu/newsroom/dae/document.cfm?doc_id=52264
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