On October 10, 2023, Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton announced on his LinkedIn account that his teams were working on a Digital Networks Act that will lay the groundwork for tomorrow’s European digital infrastructure.
The statement coincides with the results of a European consultation on the future of telecoms, launched before the summer of 2023. A White Paper on the issue is planned for the first quarter of 2024, after which it should take between twelve and fourteen months to draft the bill. Its official presentation should therefore take place before the summer of 2025.
The Digital Networks Act will meet four main goals:
- facilitate the creation of pan-European provider infrastructure;
- standardize frequency bands (considered by the EU as “a cash cow for some governments”);
- attract private sector funding;
- secure networks.
The bill should take center stage at the European Union’s Telecommunications Council, which takes place at the end of October 2023. Thierry Breton and his teams did not directly address fair share, the financing of infrastructure by digital platforms. The bill will nevertheless have to settle the controversial issue. Spain, which is the current holder of the rotating presidency, is a major proponent of fair share.