The European Commission is proposing new rules to cut the costs of high speed broadband roll out in an effort to provide massive increases in bandwidth by the end of the decade.

It has published a draft regulation aimed at making it easier to lay fibre, which accounts for up to 80% of the cost of deploying networks.

The overall aim is for everyone in the EU to have access to connections of at least 30Mbps and for half to have access to 100Mbps by 2020.

The Commission says the draft regulation involves applying best practice from around the EU in dealing with four main problem areas:

  • Ensuring new or renovated buildings are ready for high speed broadband.
  • Giving network operators fair access to infrastructure, such as existing ducts, cabinets and poles.
  • Coordinating civil works better by enabling network operators to negotiate agreements with other infrastructure providers.
  • Ensuring that permits are granted or refused within six months, especially for masts and antennas.

It makes the point that network operators could use infrastructure belonging to other utilities but that there is no marketplace to do so, and that some member states even discourage utility companies from cooperating with telecoms operators.

It adds that the proposal could save companies €40-60 billion.