Investments recognized for driving uptake of high speed broadband, Digital Agenda Commissioner Echoes Calls for Cable to be “allowed to consolidate”

Delivering a keynote closing speech at Cable Congress 2012 on International Women’s Day, Commissioner Neelie Kroes said cable’s efforts have “stimulated a vibrant content market and a virtuous circle of supply and demand that will take us to 2020.”

Nine out of ten of the 100 million households passed by cable today has access to 100 mbps service. This represents half of Commissioner Kroes’ ambitious Digital Agenda goals reached today by challenger service providers from the European cable sector.

Speaking about cable operator’ impact in helping Europe meet its 2020 Digital Agenda goals, Commissioner Kroes added, “This is one area where the cable industry should be proud. You have already shown your versatility. Upgrading cable networks has already hugely boosted broadband speeds for relatively little cost. And it is has got more and more people online with faster and faster access.”

Commissioner Kroes added that she believed it was necessary for the cable industry to be allowed to evolve in order to help it compete effectively with its competitors. “This investment you have made – and its effect on broadband markets – is something I recognise and something I congratulate you for. So I think regulators should promote, not penalise, cable investment, also by the way by allowing cable companies to reorganise and, where appropriate, consolidate their business to increase their efficiency.”

“Cable operators have worked tirelessly to stimulate competition in Europe’s broadband and telephony markets and it is gratifying to note that these efforts are recognised by Commissioner Kroes and the European Commission,” said Manuel Kohnstamm, President, Cable Europe. “These efforts are already producing a multiplier effect in terms of driving Europe’s Digital Agenda and, through further investment, will continue to bring social and economic benefits to Europeans in the years to come.”

Caroline van Weede, Managing Director, Cable Europe, said: “Make or break for the Digital Agenda is the consumer. It’s not enough to supply the best networks to our 60 million customers. By whetting consumer appetite for speed and developing new ways to consume content, we are also stimulating demand.”

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